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GigaCube RADEON 9800 Pro Game Buster 128MB
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Thursday, 17th July, 2003
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


Another RADEON Hits Town

Today, top-notch graphics cards for gaming can easily fetch prices up to S$1K but fortunately not all of them belong to that upper echelon price bracket. For about S$800 or less, ATI RADEON 9800 Pro VPU based products can deliver performance somewhat similar to the NVIDIA cards priced at S$1K (depending on situation, game and settings). Without a doubt, the RADEON 9800 Pro provides a better value for the high performance graphics card segment. To make the deals even sweeter, there has been stiff competition amongst the various ATI graphics card vendors as brands such as PowerColor and GigaCube have lately been quite aggressive in terms of branding and price.

Having reviewed the PowerColor recently, today we review GigaCube’s top graphics card product based on the ATI RADEON 9800 Pro VPU. For those who are unaware, this isn’t a Gigabyte graphics card or its subsidiary. GigaCube is a product brand name of Info-Tek Corp whose core concentration is in 3D graphics/ multimedia products and is a major contract electronics manufacturer. When Info-Tek became an ATI Add-In-Board (AIB) partner, automatically GigaCube became one of the major suppliers of ATI VPU-based graphics card products. With more competition, consumers stand to gain better product packages or pricing, which is an inevitable byproduct. So let's see if the GigaCube could put up a sweet proposition for consumers.

This is an older box design without GigaCube’s logo, which should be printed towards the left side of the box front where the ‘Powered By ATI’ logo is.


This is the GigaCube logo.

Detailed below are the technica specifications for the GC-R9800-PRO-C3 128MB, which is the exact model number of the GigaCube product in this review. You will find that it is almost identical to other RADEON 9800 Pro products as we present more details in the following pages.

GigaCube 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
  • CyberLink PowerDVD XP 4.0
  • Black Hawk Down
Other Information
  • AGP 2.0 / 3.0 slot required (1.5V)
  • 1 PCI-assigned IRQ Required

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