iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






January 2003 3Digest -
ATI RADEON 9700Pro 128MB DDR (325/620 MHz)

This chip is presented by Hercules 3D Prophet 9700 Pro 128MB, AGP card.


  • ATI RADEON 9700 chip, 325 MHz clock rate;
  • 128MB DDR SGRAM in 8 Samsung K4D26323RA-GC2A BGA chips. Max. clock - 350 (700) MHz, so the fetch time should be 2.8ns instead of the 2.2ns mentioned in some reviews. The default clock is 310 (620) MHz, 256-bit bus;
  • Peak fill rate in the multitexturing mode is 2600 megapixels/sec and 2600 megatexels/sec.

Overclocks to 360/700 MHz.

In July 2002 ATI Technologies announced its new the the most powerful 3D GPU - RADEON 9700. Later it became a base for ATI RADEON 9700Pro card. All details about the new 3D graphics top-model are provided in our review. Here we'll state only brief analysis results.

  1. In general, the card is good despite the chip complexity and high temperature operation (without additional external cooling the chip heats to 85 degrees (!), and PCB - up to 68-70. Though it doesn't affect card stability (tested by 6-hour cycled 3DMark2001).
  2. I must note that due to some reason (perhaps, mobo BIOS) after you install ATI RADEON 9700 Pro to Soltek 75DRV5 (VIA KT333), there are only AGP 1x and 2x available (!). 4x is n/a though, the mobo works in this mode with other cards. As this card DOESN'T SEEM TO SUPPORT AGP 2x (and shouldn't support, according to AGP 3.0 specs), any 3D app locks up.
  3. We can state the 3D performance is very good. Well, 8x1 architecture will burden future resource-greedy games. But today I can tell you one thing: the enabled AA and anisotropy are a must for this card! (The latter is especially good.) So, we advise all willing to pay $300-350 for this super card to learn about 3D graphics basics not to be afraid to set and control 3D quality features.
  4. After minuses (low fill rate due to 8x1, high price, artefacts in some games), pluses - besides the general performance - are the improved anisotropic filtering support and better AA (high quality at moderate performance reduction.)

By the end of the month the product belongs to the $300-350 range; supports DirectX 9.0; closest rivals (if any;-): GeForce4 Ti 4600.

On the 10th of January 2003 the latest drivers from ATI are 6.243, 6.255 and 6.275 for Windows XP.

Windows XP

As you can see, new versions are almost identical. 6.255 drivers are the most stable.

I shall note there's Radeon2.ru, web-site that tracks all software novelties from ATI and offers improved drivers versions with preset registry settings for increasing RADEON cards perfomance.

All the latest drivers belong to the CATALYST serie.

As there are currently not actual apps, using Shaders 2.0, and DirectX 9.0 hasn't been released, we'll provide some demos, based on DirectX 9.0.beta1.

Taking into account the new anisotropy quality, I recommend you to read the anisotropic filtering section.

Below are screenshots of the new RADEON 9700 feature: SmoothVision II - MSAA.

Example 1 Example 2
3DMark2001, Game 1

AA 4x

AA 6x

3DMark2001, Game 3

AA 4x

AA 6x

3DMark2001, Game 4

AA 4x

AA 6x

Serious Sam: TSE

AA 4x

AA 6x

Below are screenshots from a number of games taken on RADEON 9700, and the reference screenshots taken on NVIDIA GeForce3.

Games / Cards 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


Games / Cards 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24


Games / Cards 25 26 27 28 29 30


Game list:

  • 1. Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • 2. Unreal2 (alpha version)
  • 3. Comanche4
  • 4. Jedi Knight II Outcast
  • 5. Morrowind
  • 6. Colin McRAE Rally2 (Windows XP)
  • 7. Red Faction
  • 8. Rally Trophy
  • 9. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
  • 10. Venom
  • 11. Unreal Tournament 2003 DEMO
  • 12. DOOM 3 v0.02
  • 13. Blade of Darkness (Windows XP)
  • 14. Neverwinter Nights
  • 15. 3DMark2001: Game1
  • 16. 3DMark2001: Game2
  • 17. 3DMark2001: Game3
  • 18. 3DMark2001: Game4
  • 19. 3DMark2001: Dot3
  • 20. 3DMark2001: EMBM
  • 21. 3DMark2001: Vertex Shaders
  • 22. 3DMark2001: Pixel Shaders
  • 23. Warcraft III
  • 24. Soldier of Fortune II
  • 25. Command and Conquer: Renegade
  • 26. Max Payne
  • 27. AquaNox
  • 28. Serious Sam: The Second Encounter
  • 29. IL2: Shturmovik
  • 30. MoHAA

Andrey Vorobiev (Anvakams@ixbt.com)
Alexander Kondakov (kondalex@ixbt.com)

Article navigation:

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.