ATI-to-nVidia comparison.
September 16, 2006 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone tell me which is "better": A Radeon 9600 Pro or a Geforce 6200?

I get the feeling they're pretty close...

Bonus points to anyone that can point me to a comparison chart with both ATI and nVidia chipsets at least as far back as the Geforce 3 era.
posted by krisjohn to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This has a whole ton of cards, though not back that far.

Toms Hardware's "VGA Charts" series attempts to cover every card going, but you may need to overlap between the older and newer charts.
posted by wackybrit at 5:52 PM on September 16, 2006

That Tom's Hardware link that wackybrit posted is the best for current graphics card benchmarks. The other great tool is GPUReview's comparison tool that covers a greater swath of old and new cards.
posted by junesix at 6:15 PM on September 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

That's an amazing resource, nice one junesix!
posted by wackybrit at 6:19 PM on September 16, 2006

What are you going to use the cards for? Office work, internet surfing, light gaming?

I believe some of the 6200's have a faster clock than the 9600
's, as well as the fact that the 6200 is newer technology. Given the choice, i'd take the 6200.

I'm assuming AGP, right?
posted by richter_x at 6:59 PM on September 16, 2006

The nVidia card, because nVidia's driver development team isn't utterly batshit insane like ATI's. There may be minor differentiation between the features and performance of the GPU devices themselves, but there's no reason to purchase an ATI device unless you either don't plan to use drivers written by ATI (for example, using supported models with free software X11 drivers), or the reliability of the system in question is of low importance.
posted by majick at 7:22 PM on September 16, 2006

i had a recent experience with something almost identical to this question ... i wanted to upgrade from my on board video (64meg s3, suck, suck, suck) on a asrock k8 upgrade vm800 motherboard ... socket 754 sempron64 2600 amd chip ... two pci slots, one agp ... (yes, i know this is all bottom of the barrel tech, but i'm poor, ok? and it's what i could afford) ... oh, and i upped to a gig of ram

first, i bought a 6200geforce pci "overclocked" board , 256 megs from best buy, as it was on sale ... i soon discovered myself in video card hell ... i couldn't run videos in games or anything else without turning hardware acceleration down, which of course made most games unrunnable ... so much for trying to run warcraft 3, which ran just fine on my duron 850, 256 meg ram, ati 32 meg video card from 4 or 5 years ago ... hours and hours of hacking, googling, etc ect revealed little except that this card didn't seem to like via chipsets

i got disgusted and took it back ... by this time other things were on sale and i picked up a radeon 9550 agp, 256meg for about the same price

it worked ... no muss, no fuss, just (basic level) computer graphic goodness

all i can say is that this stuff is complicated, you can go wrong, that obviously agp is better than pci, which i knew, but figured i wouldn't take THAT bad a hit on performance ... (and yeah, pci-e rules, but i don't HAVE that) ... and to be cautious about motherboard and video card interactions, because there were murky hints online that other people had had problems with amd via motherboards and that particular geforce video card

there's bad cards out there ... make sure you do your homework first
posted by pyramid termite at 8:52 PM on September 16, 2006

Response by poster:
What are you going to use the cards for?
World of Warcraft.

I actually own both cards, the ATI having come in a secondhand PC I bought. I probably could have benchmarked both of them, but 3Dmark tends to just crash on most of my hardware. Also, the PCs they're in are quite different.

I was thinking of upgrading the PC with the 6200, then passing on the 6200 to the PC with the ATI card. But unless the 6200 is clearly better than the 9600, there isn't much point. Which it looks like is the case.

It's mostly my bonus question that I've been wanting to ask in some form or another for a while. This was a good example to frame the question with.
posted by krisjohn at 10:01 PM on September 16, 2006

well, try one for awhile and than the other for awhile ... be sure when you're removing drivers to do it in safe mode for full removal

it's really pretty hard to tell how an individual machine's going to act until you try it out
posted by pyramid termite at 11:47 PM on September 16, 2006

I would expect the ATI to perform better.

The 9600 Pro was a midrange card; the 6200 was firmly at the cheapo end of the market. It may be more recent, but probably not enough to compensate.
posted by BobInce at 2:45 AM on September 17, 2006

The GeForce 6200 series cards are problematic with streaming video. The Radeon 9600 Pro is decent; for an extra $40, you could get a 9700, with little to worry about in terms of heat/fan noise.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:05 AM on September 17, 2006

Video cards is one of these areas where a little extra money spent up front goes a long way. A 9800 PRO is about 40-50 dollars more than the 9600. You're getting like something like twice the performance for 40 bucks!
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2006

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