iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail







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We'd like to thank Aleksei Nikolaichuk, developer of RivaTuner, for the new version of this utility which provides support for RADEON 9800 PRO:

That is why overclocking is quite possible, and RADEON 9800 PRO demonstrates an excellent potential -- 430/385 (770) MHz!

Testbed and drivers


  • Pentium 4 based computer:
    • Intel Pentium 4 3066 (HT=ON)
    • ASUS P4G8X (iE7205) mainboard
    • 1024 MB DDR SDRAM
    • Seagate Barracuda IV 40GB Hard Drive
    • Windows XP SP1
  • Athlon XP based computer:
    • AMD Athlon XP 2600+ (2133 MHz)
    • EPoX (NVIDIA nForce2) mainboard
    • 1024 MB DDR SDRAM PC3200
    • Seagate Barracuda IV 40GB Hard Drive
    • Windows XP SP1
  • ViewSonic P810 21" and ViewSonic P817 21" monitors

In the tests we used ATI CATALYST 3.2 drivers (v6.307), VSync off, texture compression off in applications. DirectX 9.0 installed.

Video cards used for comparison:

  • Reference card NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra (500/500 (1000) MHz, 128MB, driver 42.82 for gaming tests and 42.68 for 3DMark03)
  • Hercules 3D Prophet 9700 PRO (RADEON 9700 PRO, 325/310 (620) MHz, 128MB)

Driver settings

The new driver version 6.307 doesn't differ from the previous ones for RADEON 9700. Only SmoothVision and anisotropy versions are set to 2.1 instead of 2. That is why you can look through the settings in the review of RADEON 9700 PRO.

It is possible to force RADEON 9800 in the drivers for RADEON 9700 using Soft9800. This is a patch for RivaTuner which is currently available at NV World; it allows the drivers to detect both RADEON 9700 PRO and RADEON 9800 PRO, and if there are any optimizations only for the latter, it can make them available for RADEON 9700 PRO as well.

We tried to find out what RADEON 9800 PRO offers and what we can get with RADEON 9700 PRO turned into 9800. The results are very interesting. I must say that the rumor stating that "RADEON 9800 PRO = RADEON 9700 PRO + increased clock speed + optimization in the drivers" hasn't proved to be true; the situation is quite complicated in the games.

Also, we tested RADEON 9800 PRO at the frequencies reduced to the level of RADEON 9700 PRO.

Further we will refer to RADEON 9700 PRO working with the patched drivers that define it as RADEON 9800 PRO as to Soft 9800 PRO. If the frequencies are not indicated separately, they are standard for RADEON 9700 PRO -- 325/620 MHz.

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