SoftMod 9800SE Drivers/Cards etc...

Discussion in 'Techie Discussion' started by MrBlack, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. MrBlack

    MrBlack Fledgling Freddie

    I'm on the hunt for asite selling guaranteed Overclockable 9800SEs. Preferably the hercules AIW versions. I'd be willing to pay the extra £20-£30 for the privelege and I've been waiting for someone like to take up the mantle, as they have with their various OCable Athlons/P4s.

    No such luck as yet. There's a German site doing it, but with the shipping costs and having to deal with the support people auf Deutsch, I'd rather not bother.

    I also want to hear other people's experiences with these cards. I bought one, it went all blotchy on me with the softmod so I blagged a refund (bad me) has some solid docs/forums on it, by the way.
  2. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi MrBlack

    I just thought I ought to say that soft-modding is generally overrated, and at last I heard such practices were heavily denounced by ATi, who take ongoing measures to reverse soft-mods and will immediately viod warranties and other support upon their application. Don't get me wrong, I know lots of people do it, with varying degrees of success, but you must be certain of what you're getting into :)

    As for the 9800SE, in terms of performance, ATi have really crippled the cards. As such, the 9600 cards often outpeform in benchmarks and real world tests. How much you'd be able to reverse this, I don't know, but the '9800' designation certainly is misleading.

    Kind Regards
  3. MrBlack

    MrBlack Fledgling Freddie

    Well the one I got gace me 3dMark03 of 3200 normal and 5400 with the softmod (but lots of artifacts). Cured it somewhat with underclocking, but that's not the point. :) They do run pretty hot, too, and it's difficult to replace the stock cooling on the AIW as the tv stuff gets in the way.

    That aside, those that have said it works say it's great. Given that they are identical r350 chips to the 9800/9800pro/9800xp and are clocked at the same as a 9800pro (I think) The gamble, I believe, is whether you get a chip that actually failed the pro tests or one that would have passed but is just filling a market gap.

    If ATI are jumping on soft-mods, that would probably explain why there's no guaranteed cards available yet. Still, the guy who does the Omega drivers includes the softmods for SE->Pro and 9500->9700 too, and he's got quite a friendly rep within ATI (he says)

    Maybe I'll just get a 9600XT instead. it's going to be better than my ti4400, especially in dx9 stuff. And they're only £120.
  4. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi MrBlack

    Sorry, came out a little too anti-softmodding, but I do think you'd be better off with something like a Radeon 9600XT. I'm lucky enough to be running one at the mo and they are very nice cards (and I'm a big nVidia fan, so that's saying something ;)). It also has OverDrive technology, which essentially dynamically overclocks the card. It's very tame in comparison to most overclocking, but it is official, it is very safe and it can be extended on, as The FiringSquad have demonstrated. And, if you purchase the retail version, you get a voucher for Half-Life 2 thrown in, which is around ~£24.99 saved :)

    Good luck with whatever you decide
  5. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    Just my two penn'eth as regards Jonty's post:

    The 9600XT definitely appears to have the greatest bang:buck ratio at the moment, and does indeed have a manufacturer-supported (although less intense) version of overclocking.

    (Side-note regarding the Half-Life 2 offer: which version of HL2 does the voucher entitle you to? I'd heard it mentioned that this voucher was for the 'single-player' version of HL2, which won't include any of the multiplayer features...)
  6. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    The HL2 voucher entitles you to a full retail copy of HL2, no cut-down or OEM versions...

    As to the 9600XT I recently tested it against the 5700 Ultra and tbh would opt for the NVIDIA at present, Overdrive on the 9600XT suffers from the same problems seen on the 9800XT and performance difference is hard to call in realistic terms.

    Jonty will soon be swapping his RV360 for an NV36 so expect some commentary from him on how he feels they stack up in early Janurary.

  7. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    I'd like to see that in (official) writing, tbh. I can't necessarily say I trust ATi not to turn round and say "Yes, this voucher entitles you to the single-player-only version of HL2, and you're only allowed to download it through Steam. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!".
  8. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    A mate of mine has just purchased the Hercules 9800 SE AIW from (although i advised a 9600 XT would be a much safer/better bet) with the sole purpose of opening up the other four pipelines via the softmod. It didn't work ;). If it was that simple to get a 9800 Pro for £150, everyone would be doing it.

    I also smell some collusion going on between hardware suppliers and review sites. For example (sites will remain nameless), there was a review site pimping the 9800 SE as being superb due to the softmod potential and this 9800 SE could be bought from for $200, who also supplied the card for the review (they seemed to be actively promoting the hardware site and that the softmod was the right thing to do). Those thirsty for the performance of a 9800 Pro could buy said card from said vendor and will most likely softmod. Clearly, some/lots of them don't softmod.

    It just stank.

  9. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    They did, though for the life of me at this precise moment I can't remember where.

    Gabe Newell of Valve also went on the record to say the same thing at ATI's shader day in November I think.0
  10. Ch3tan

    Ch3tan I aer teh win!!

    There are verious scans of the vouchers and the official ati promotion site which lists the exact details. Have a search around, I can't be bothered to look for you at the moment, its far to early.
  11. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Jonts has one of the vouchers currently, I think, give him a day or two and I'm sure he'll be able to clarify the fine print.

  12. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    Now this is dedication, Christmas morning and here I am, posting :p hehe. Having a lovely Christmas, though :)

    Right, I have the HL2 voucher here in front of me (courtesy of Xavier) and the first lines read:

    It goes on to explain that if you're not downloading it, you may have to pay shipping (4-6 weeks delivery) and taxes, and the website it mentions then details how you can get HL1 & mods in the meantime.

    Anyway, the important bit is that it does indeed say 'full'. I've also read elsewhere that, when approached, ATI have confirmed that the voucher entitles one to the singleplayer and multiplayer version of HL2. Sites such as OcUK are therefore incorrect, it would seem, in saying that the voucher is for the single player version only.

    Kind Regards


    P.S. On a sidenote, some 9x00 XT cards ae being sold in three forms: OEM, Lite Retail and (Full) Retail. Only the latter usually comes with the HL2 voucher, with the former omitting the bundles in varying degrees in order to cut down the price. Always check before you buy!
  13. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Cheers for that matey.... :D
  14. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    *curses inability to give multiple reputation points to Jonty at once* :(
  15. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    *reminds Fatty where the voucher came from :p*

  16. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    Hmm, I'm getting really tempted to buy one of those 9600XT jobbies now... £150 with HL2 bundled with it sounds really quite handy...
  17. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    Can't give you any more reputation points either - apparently I need to spread reputation around a little more liberally...
  18. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    i'll 'ave 'em !
  19. ManDevil

    ManDevil Can't get enough of FH

    Judging by other peoples posts on here and various other sites, looks like I was very lucky to get one that softmods perfectly, was getting 3500 3dmark03 stock & 5600 softmodded with no artifacts & the hottest it gets is 45°C :)
  20. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    You pay your money and take your chances. If you want the 9800 Pro enough, and have the cash, there is no point in taking the chance with the softmod on the SE.

    If you're not too fussed on 9800 Pro performance, want the AIW features but have the potential to softmod to a 9800 Pro as a "nice to have" function, then I reckon ~£150 is a great price and worth a purchase.

    I would be too concerned with what may happen in future with drivers or ATi doing something about the softmod, or how stable the 4 extra pipelines are when opened up? It's early days.

  21. TheJkWhoSaysNi

    TheJkWhoSaysNi One of Freddy's beloved

    9800SE's are horrible, your best bet is a 9800 non pro. If you can find a hercules one (Or manage to get another brand which uses samsung memory) you can flash the bios on the card to a pro. I did it and it works like a charm :)

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