I just bought a power color 9600 xt ultra for 153 bucks and it is a nice little card. The is no ordinary 9600xt the card came out of the box clocked with a memory speed of 680 as opposed to the standard xt which has a memory speed of 600. This setup a lot got me a score around 4100 on 3dmark 2003. However that was only the beginning I managed to push the core from the standard 500 to 585 and I pushed the memory to a 730 ( 365X2 ). At these clock speed setting a managed to get 4486 on 3d mark 2003. These are pretty nice scores considering the card only cost 150 bucks, not to mention I got 7 games with it. All in all I am very pleases with my purchase and encourage others who are looking for an excellent card to play with to give it a try
So many numbers! That's sounds pretty schweet and affordable, I'd purchase one if I had the cash. My current card is alright, but it'll become outdated by the end of this year most likely. Anyway, so the seven games came with the card? Or you purchased them separately?
Also, where did you buy it? The price differs from store-to-store sometimes.
Well, I for one don't really know about quality, all are made in some basement? in Tiawan somewhere, but the 'real' ATI cards are usually built with better components and ATI maintains some measure of customer support (as in, if you E-Mail, or phone ATI you ALWAYS get an answer/help...........try that with PowerColour, or Sapphire, or HIS).
ATI also looks after their product if things go horribly wrong, as in 24hr turn-around on defective product, try that with the others.
So, if these things are important to you then buy a 'real' ATI, if not then buy something else.
"Paying a little more is definitely worth the customer service"
The trouble is that in some cases it is not 'a little more'. Genuine ATI cards run around 30-40% more expensive then say, PowerColour, or Sapphire cards, and HIS.........HIS cards are almost 60% cheaper.
I really don't know what I can say, there is really no reason why a 'real' ATI card is 60% more than a HIS card, there is the quality factor, there is the support factor, but somewhere in the back of my mind I do feel ripped off a little bit buying 'real' ATI.
From a 'selling' point of view, I would rather sell you a 'real' ATI, because of the LOW return rate. PowerColour and Sapphire seem to have bad 'runs' where you will get a defective/questionable 'bunch'. HIS seems to lower clock their cards, so there is less trouble with their design/crappy memory they install, but they too suffer in 'bunches'.
I think your buying decision depends on how much cash you have and the reputation of the reseller you do business with. If your reseller will look after you in a reasonable fashon (what I mean here is exchange of defective product without too much bother) then it comes down to a 'money thing', if you feel that you are pretty much going to be 'stuck' with what you buy, then by all means buy the ATI.