Overclocking Guide
Links Page
Old News
Reviews
Price Check

 

SPONSORS
GIGABYTE MAYA2 RADEON 9700 PRO
This review was kindly made possible by :
October 26-2002
Matt Korhonen
 
MSY price at time of REVIEW = $750 Australian
 

    

GV-R9700 PRO
ATi Radeon 9700 PRO Graphics Accelerator

Graphics Technology
  RADEON 9700 Visual Processing Unit (VPU)

Memory configuration
  128MB of double data rate memory(DDR)

Unique Features of GV-R9700 PRO
  V-Tuner Tweaker supported, can overclock your VPU and Memory speed.

Features At-a-glance
  Fastest* 3D gaming performance with next-generation VPU architecture
  Complete DirectX 9.0 support for unprecedented realism and sophisticated visual effects
  SMOOTHVISION 2.0 technology provides new levels of image quality with advanced full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) and anisotropic filtering
  Revolutionary new video features including VIDEOSHADER and FULLSTREAM technologies
  Featuring CATALYST - ATI's industry-leading software suite with frequently scheduled free updates providing additional features and performance over the product's lifetime
  DVI-I and TV-Out connector supported

Fastest 3D Gaming Performance
  128MB DDR memory accelerates the latest 3D games
  256-bit memory interface removes hardware performance bottleneck and provides end users with faster 3D graphics
  Industry's first 8-pixel pipeline architecture, providing twice the rendering power of any currently competing product.
  Supports the new AGP 8X standard, providing a high-speed link between the graphics board and the rest of the PC (2.0 GB/sec)
  First to fully support DirectX 9.0 and the latest OpenGLR functionality
  New SMARTSHADER 2.0 technology allows users to experience complex, movie-quality effects in next-generation 3D games and applications
  SMOOTHVISION 2.0 technology enhances image quality by removing jagged edges and bringing out fine texture detail, without compromising performance
  96-bit floating-point color precision allows for a greater range of colors and brightness
  Unique VIDEOSHADER engine uses programmable pixel shaders to accelerate video processing and provide better-looking visuals
  ATI's new FULLSTREAM technology removes blocky artifacts from Streaming and Internet video and provides sharper image quality

Output
  D-Sub , S-Video , DVI-I

Bundle Software
  CyberLink PowerDVD XP
  Serious Sam (Game CD)
  Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 (Game CD)
  Rune (Game CD)
  Motocross Mania (Game CD)
  4X4 EVO and Oni (in 1 CD, Lite version)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS :

 I could not help notice that the Radeon 9700 is almost exactly the same size as the GF4ti4200 , personally I was kind of glad , as I was expecting a card that might make the GF4ti4600 look small . The card went in with no dramas what so ever , and the drivers also went in with equal simplicity , which Im sure most of you will be happy to hear . Image quality on the Radeon 9700 is superior to my GF4ti4200 , but game play remains about the same , and you would be hard pressed to be able to tell which is which if not for the improved image quality of the 9700 . I played the Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo and the ( Full Ver ) Medal of Honor Allied Assault , to compare cards in actual game play , rather than just going by benchmarks .

BENCHMARKS:

EPOX 8K3A , DIRECT X8.1 , WIN98SE , 256MEG SAMSUNG PC2700 , XP1700 @ 11x166FSB 1.75v = 1.83ghz , VIA 4,40 drivers , 40 gig Maxtor ATA133 7200rpm , PCI 3D sound .

The Radeon was set to best or highest performance for the benchmarks , and running the default 3Dmark2001SE bench , gave a score of 14285 3Dmarks , compared to my GF4ti4200 which returned a score of 10780 3Dmarks . Quake is getting a little long in the tooth , but is still a valid benchmark tool , esp when it comes to the reader being able to compare his/her results with that of reviewers . With all settings at default , 800x600x16bit = 239FPS , 1024x768x16bit = 237.6FPS , 1280x1024x16bit = 228.6FPS , 1280x1024x32bit = 226.5FPS . As we can see from these results the Radeon 9700 is hardly slowed down by increased screen resolution or from color depth , good news for performance junkies . I only did 2 comparison tests with the GF4ti4200 just to see how it compares , 1280x1024x16bit = 189FPS , 1280x1024x32bit = 170FPS , no surprise here , the GF4ti4200 takes a much larger performance hit going from 16bit to 32bit color depth , and there is no real contest at all as far as actual FPS go .

OVERCLOCKING:

Well I was seriously surprised here , there is actually very little head room for overclocking this card , from a stock Core Clock 324mhz / Mem Clock 310mhz ( so says Power Strip ) I was able to take the card to 345/345 = 14753 3Dmarks , any higher on the core speed and 3Dmark2001SE would lock up , any higher on the memory and artifacts would appear . Compared to my GF4ti4200  Core Clock 250mhz / Mem 255mhz stock ( Power Strip ) I was easily able to push 300 / 300 = 11758 3Dmarks , still no contest , but it does show the headroom that the GF4ti4200 has .

CONCLUSION:

Please dont complain about the lack of benchmarks , this was the last 9700 MSY had , and my time with it was short but sweet . At $750 Australian from MSY , the price on the Radeon 9700 has seriously dropped in the last week , making the 9700 almost the same price as many GF4ti4600 cards on the market , if not actually cheaper than some . The image quality of the 9700 was superior to my GF4ti , performance is superior to all GF4ti cards , it comes with lots of games , and I had no problems with it what so ever . The only negative thing is the lack of overclocking head room , and that would be a little like complaining about having the fastest car in the world and not being able to make it go faster , geeez , there's no pleasing some folk .

  Here it is , the best , the fastest  game card to be had at the moment , and I have nothing bad to say about it , it rocks , and if you can afford it , and justify it , go ahead and buy it , that's my recommendation , if you have to have it , get it , I cant think of any reason not to , so indulge yourself in having the best , unfortunately ( bo-ho ) I have to give this card back .