OEM 8500LE vs. Retail 9000 Pro

fwtong

Senior member
Feb 26, 2002
695
5
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What to get, OEM 8500LE 128MB or a Retail 9000 Pro 128MB? I'm not exactly looking for the fastest card, because overall performance will probably be handicapped by my cpu, T-Bird 900. I'm just not sure if the slower memory speeds of the OEM 8500LE drops the performance below that of the retail 9000 Pro. If retail 8500LE 128mb cards were still easy to find, I wouldn't be asking this question. I'm looking for a card that will last a year or two before I upgrade.
 

clicknext

Banned
Mar 27, 2002
3,884
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I would have said 8500LE without hesitation before, but recently I got one of those, and it's terrible. Make sure you get one that has acceptable ram. Best if it's BGA packaged. Mine is 5.0ns and only runs at 200mhz. It's overclockable, but for some reason overclocking gives me almost no benefit at all.
 

fwtong

Senior member
Feb 26, 2002
695
5
81
Doh! I just ordered one with memory speed at 200. Should I cancel and go with a retail 9000 Pro? Or will the fact that my cpu is a T-Bird 900 not make much a difference between the vid card memory speed of 200 versus 275?
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
81
I'm going to go against the trend and suggest the R9000.
It's slightly slower then the R8500, but that will make no difference to you as you'll be completely processor limited in either case.

With the R9000 you'll gain ATi's FullStream.. something that actually can benefit you regardless of processor speed.
Plus with the R9000 you won't have to worry about which board you pick, unlike the R8500 in which clockspeeds vary from 300/300 down to 250/200 and even lower ALL R9000 Pro's are clocked identically and only slightly slower then the 250/250 R8500LE.
 

rogue1979

Diamond Member
Mar 14, 2001
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I agree with Rand, a retail R9000 Pro will most definately come clocked at 275/275 with good Ram, it should go 300/315 or so. While a R8500LE at the same speed will be faster, you might get stuck with one that has 5ns RAM. I also noticed the image quality of the 9000 series has a small inprovement over the 8500.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
2,112
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:) Yeah Rad9000 series tend to be far more consistent than the earlier Radeons, if you go Rad8500LE which is certainly faster you will have to check things like clock speeds and dual RAMDACs (for dual display if that's important) as these often vary a lot not only by manu but also retail vs oem/bulk for the clocks. Even with a 900mhz CPU you'd still find the 8500LE faster in almost all cases, but Rad9000PRO isn't terribly slower (15%) and also has slightly better image quality and DVD/MPEG playback not that the 8500's are in any way poor in the first place though. If you plan to upgrade that CPU in the next few months I'd lean towards the 8500LE, otherwise Rad9000PRO will do you no harm and is stil afine although poorly named card. Just be sure you get the PRO and not the std 9000 which is 20% slower (although it SHOULD o/c well).

Tech Report Rad9000PRO

AnAndTech Rad9000PRO

Firing Squad Rad9000PRO

HardOCP Rad9000PRO

;) And for an idea of how CPU speed effects gfx perf:

AnAndTech CPU Scaling 1 using many games

AnAndTech CPU Scaling 2 focusing on UT2003
 

fwtong

Senior member
Feb 26, 2002
695
5
81
After reading all the opinions, I decided to get an OEM 9000 Pro 128mb (hopefully it's a Pro!). The rage3d.com review of the 9000 Pro used a T-Bird 1.4 and of all the reviews, it was the closest machine in configuration to my machine. I saw from that review that no matter which card I got, the performance was very close due to cpu scaling. I could have even gotten a GF 4 MX without sacrificing a lot of performance, but I wanted the DX 8 capabilities. As a result, I got an OEM 9000 Pro because I didn't want the hassle of getting a severely underclocked 8500le. Thanks for all the info!
 

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