View Full Version : Radeon 9600 Vs 9650

2005-10-14, 09:36
At first I thought i was worth the upgrade since it was only for a little more money and I would be doubling the MBs, but after doing some research it seems that the 9600 actually outperforms the 9650, I have no need of powering the 30" display, but i do use two montitors. Anyone have any advice as to wether this "upgrade" is really any good? Second part of my question is after having ordered a slightly customized dual 2.3 Ghz machine, does apple offer any kind of discount if the current power mac line is updated in the next week or so? thanks.

2005-10-14, 10:16
Apple won't take back your PowerMac or refund you in any way if you order it and it's updated shortly afterward. If it uses a BTO configuration, that is. If it's stock, you can return it less a restocking fee, and if it's unopened, you can return it for a full refund within a short amount of time (maybe a week or ten days).

Given that PowerMac updates are supposed to be right around the corner, I would strongly urge you to wait just the one week. Unless there's some reason that you urgently need a PowerMac right this instant, it would be a good idea to wait a little while.

As for the video card, here's what I gather. The Radeon 9600 is a standard, non-Pro Radeon 9600. It has four pipelines and supports PixelShader 2.0 (i.e. it supports CoreImage). The core clock speed is a low 325 MHz on the plain 9600. And assuming it's the same as the PC part, it has a 400 MHz memory speed, giving it 6.4GB/s memory throughput.

The so-called Radeon 9650 is listed in System Profiler as "RV351," the code name ATI gave to their AGP-bridged version of the Radeon X300. Performance is nearly equal to the 9600. It has a core speed of 400 MHz, giving it a faster fill rate than the 9600. But unless Apple also increased the speed of the X300's memory bus, it has the same slow 400 MHz memory that the 9600 has, making it a good deal slower than the previous 9600XT (which had much more acceptable 600 MHz memory). Other than that, it's very similar to the plain 9600, except with double the VRAM (won't make much difference) and with the ability to drive a 30" display.

That was kind of unnecessarily technical, I guess... but I wanted to get that out there. IMHO, unless you want or need the 30" display, you should stick with the 9600. It's not even worth $50 to upgrade to the 9650. If you want to do any gaming, get a Radeon 9800 or something.

2005-10-14, 15:28
A little info to add. Apparently some people checked their 9600XT and 9650 video cards using ATIcelerator and noted that the former has a 310 MHz memory clock, while the 9650 uses a 270 MHz memory clock. So the difference is not huge, but it was enough for a Macworld test to reveal a 3fps difference between the 2.5 GHz PowerMac and the 2.7 GHz one (the 2.5 GHz one was faster by 3fps in Unreal Tournament 2004).

2005-10-14, 16:01
interesting. i just called apple to see about downgrading to the 9600, from what they told me in order to do that i would have to cancel the whole order and then they would put it in again. i ordered it last saturday and as of now its shipping to me on the 25th. I REALLY need it for a project next week, but its my own fault for waiting out this dual core announcement.

On the phone apple told me that if they do upgrade, i will get some kind of email asking me if i want the new machines or not. Not sure how accurate that info is the operator didn't seem 100% about any of it. other then the video card, the only thing i added was airport extreme and bluetooth. Tempted to downgrade everything and get the base unit so it ships sooner. A dual dual would be great, but it seems like only the top end model will feature such