Just spotted a articile on guru3D.com which says ATI are producing a version of the 9800pro with 128meg of 128 bit RAM instead of 128 of 256 bit RAM, which means memory bandwidth is cut in half which will have a serious effect on performance. So if you go one make sure you get one with 256 bit RAM to get full 9800pro performance.
uhh yeah that card in the link (zipzoomfly one, for 170 or something) is NOT good to get.
One, it is the SE edition with 128-bit interface for the memory (memory bandwidth is like the interface * "some form of mhz - maybe inverse, I forget ") as opposed to 256-bit found on REGULAR 9800 / 9800PRO / 9700 / 9700PRO / 9800XT / AIW variations.
Two, it has half the pipelines for rendering shaders. (4 as opposed to 8 found on the forementioned cards.) Although there exist a software mod to "enable" the extra 4, it is still a risk. Check out ocfaq.com...
Three, it uses the TSOP memory. Most of high-end video cards (actually, all that I know of but I could be wrong any time, any day..) use BBA packaging for memory... (the small square type memory...) They allow for higher freq and thus more bandwidth, resulting in more performance...
AND, the variations that use TSOP memory seem to have even lower clocks for core... (well memory, I already covered )
This card will perform much worse than a 9600PRO imo. It's definitely worth getting 9800pro for 30 extra bucks on that... or a Nvidia 5900xt (se) for around 180 or so. (From newegg..)
EP, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS