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» Channels :: Graphics Card
PowerColor RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 9th June, 2003
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

Established in 1997, C.P. Technology is the company behind the long known PowerColor brand of graphics cards which was introduced since their inception. By the following year in 1998, they obtained ISO 9001 certification and in 2001, they became ATI’s first-tier Add-In-Board partner. Although still considered a young company, they are making good progress. We have seen PowerColor graphics cards in the retail market for many years but it is an irony that we have not tested one thus far.

Well to make up for that, we took PowerColor’s top product, the RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB for a spin in our new test rig. As the box picture depicts below, PowerColor’s marketing is doing a fine job these days as compared to the past. There are many users who have been reserved on graphics card products other than the well-established names, but perhaps with this review, it may change their perception since PowerColor did left us a good impression. Read on to see how it fared, but first we'll have a detailed look at the product’s specifications in the table below.


PowerColor RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • ATI RADEON 9800 Pro Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
  • Eight parallel rendering pipelines
  • Four parallel geometry engines
  • 256-bit DDR memory interface
  • AGP 8X support
  • SMARTSHADER™ 2.1
    • Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
    • 2.0 Vertex Shaders support vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
    • 2.0 Pixel Shaders support up to 16 textures per rendering pass
    • New F-buffer technology supports pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
    • 128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
    • Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
    • Shadow volume rendering acceleration
    • Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® via extensions
  • SMOOTHVISION™ 2.1
    • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes (Adaptive algorithm with programmable sample patterns)
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes (Adaptive algorithm with bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options)
  • HYPER Z™ III +
    • 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
    • Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 24:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
    • Z cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
  • TRUFORM™ 2.0
    • 2nd generation N-Patch higher order surface support
    • Discrete and continuous tessellation levels per polygon
    • Displacement mapping
  • VIDEOSHADER™
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video
    • FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology
    • Noise removal filtering for captured video
  • MPEG-2 decoding with motion compensation, iDCT and color space conversion
  • All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
  • YPrPb component output
  • Adaptive de-interlacing and frame rate conversion
  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • Optimized for Pentium® 4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon™ 3DNow!
  • PC 2002 compliant
Graphics Memory
  • 128MB DDR SDRAM (Samsung GC2A, 2.86ns)
RAMDAC
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant and HDCP ready)
Connectors
  • 15-pin D-sub VGA connector (supports up to 2048x1536 @ 85Hz)
  • 1x DVI-I connector
  • 1x mini-DIN connector for Integrated TV-out (supports up to 1024x768)
Driver & Software
  • Driver support for Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 / XP
  • InterVideo WinDVD 4
  • Summonet
  • Comanche 4
  • Ballistics Demo
  • Black Hawk Down Demo
  • Ghost Recon Demo
  • Serious Sam: The 2nd Encounter Demo
  • Vietcong Demo
Other Information
  • AGP 2.0 / 3.0 slot required (1.5V)
  • 1 PCI-assigned IRQ Required

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