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YUAN XpertVision
RADEON 9000 64MB and
RADEON 9700 PRO Video Cards Review

February 8, 2003






CONTESTS

  1. Peculiarities of the YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB and RADEON 9700 PRO 
  2. Test system configuration, test tools, 2D quality 
  3. Data on 3D quality 
  4. Conclusion

YUAN High-Tech Development Co. Ltd is not known well on our local market that is why let me introduce it to you: 

  • Foundation: October 1990
  • Headquarters: Taipei, Taiwan
  • Income in 2002: $40 million
  • Circulating capital: $8 million
  • Employees in the headquarters: 50 
  • Factories: Taiwan, China
  • Main products: ATI graphics cards, video peripherals
  • Factory in China: 
    • Location: Shanghai
    • Foundation: 1992 
    • Total area: 66000 sq. ft.
    • Employees: 1000 
    • Monthly full output: 1.2 million cards

The data are received from the guys at ATI Premium Event

Last time we studied the cards from this company long ago when it dealt yet with NVIDIA's processors. Now YUAN uses chipsets exceptionally from ATI Technologies. 

Moreover, the well-known company Palit is now an owner of YUAN but it left the latter as an independent subdivision with its own trade mark XpertVision. That is why further we will speak about YUAN as a company and its XpertVision trade mark under which the firm produces almost the whole range of video cards based on ATI's processors of the last generations, including the most expensive RADEON 9700 PRO. By the way, here are the cards which were reviewed before. 

Theoretical materials and reviews of video cards which concern functional properties of the VPU ATI RADEON 9700 (Pro) / RADEON 9500 (Pro)

Today we will take a look at two cards from YUAN which are almost in the opposite market segments: RADEON 9000 (from the lowest price niche) and RADEON 9700 PRO (from the highest price niche). 

Cards

YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB 






YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB 







 
 
 
YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB 
The card has AGP x2/x4 interface, 64 MB DDR SDRAM located in 8 chips on both PCB sides. 

The Samsung's memory chips have 3.6ns access time which corresponds to 275 (550) MHz, but the memory runs at 200 (400) MHz. The GPU works at 250MHz which is typical of RADEON 9000. 




YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB 
The card has AGP x2/x4/x8 interface, 128 MB DDR SDRAM located in 8 chips on both PCB sides. 

The Samsung's memory chips have 2.8ns access time which corresponds to 357 (714) MHz, but the memory runs at 310 (620) MHz in full conformity with the RADEON 9700 PRO. The GPU works at 325MHz.





 
 
 
Comparison with the reference design, front view 
YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB  Reference card ATI RADEON 9000 









YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB  Reference card ATI RADEON 9700 PRO 










 
 
 
Comparison with the reference design, back view
YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB  Reference card ATI RADEON 9000 






YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB  Reference card ATI RADEON 9700 PRO 







 

While the XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO is just a pure copy of the reference card, the XpertVision RADEON 9000 has its own design. If you remember, Palit always developed a unique design for its cards. It seems that now YUAN is now absorbing the spirit of Palit, especially regarding the dark purple PCB color... 

As for 3.6ns, the overclockers won't benefit from this memory because none of hackers managed to unlock the BIOS of RADEON 9000 so far. That is why, fast as the memory may be, it will work at 200 (400) MHz - by default for RADEON 9000. 

Unfortunately, this card works very unstably on the EPoX's nForce2 based mainboard and refuses to work on some i815 based boards (is it again inherited from Palit? - if you remember, its GF3 Ti200 based card was incompatible with the i815 based boards). That is why you should carefully choose a RADEON 9000 card. 

If we remove coolers, we will see the graphics processors themselves: RADEON 9000: 




and RADEON 9700 PRO: 




Here are the coolers: 

YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB 
The card is equipped with an ordinary cooler from the same company the Palit's cards have coolers from. 


YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB 
This is a copy of the standard reference cooler from ATI 



 
Both YUAN's cards have a TV-out based on the integrated codec. As to TV-out quality, soon we will publish the article where all peculiarities of the TV-out of the RADEON 9500/9700 and the settings will be covered. 

Now take a gander at the accessory packs: 
 

YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB 
Only a CD with drivers. No cables or adapters. 


YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB 
User Guide, CD with drivers and utilities, S-Video-to-RCA and DVI-to-d-Sub adapters, S-Video and RCA extenders. 



 

Both cards ship in the retail packages. 

YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB 
This is relatively a retail package because this small box doesn't look like a normal package at all, especially because of the scarce kit of accessories, - this is simply an OEM pack in cardboard. Note that the box was developed probably when the XpertVision trade mark wasn't confirmed yet, and they made an attempt to adjust the Daytona mark for the ATI based cards. 


YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB 
This box is more impressive, though there is no a single word about XpertVision and about YUAN itself. Unfortunately, the packing is awful - they simply wrapped the card in pieces of foam-rubber (you can see it above on the picture with the accessories).  



 

Now when we are through with the cards' features, let's turn to overclocking. 

Overclocking


 
YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB  No overclocking
YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB  325/620 -> 365/700 MHz, not bad. 

 

 

Note that: 

  • during the overclocking you should provide additional cooling, in particular, for the card (first of all, for its memory):
     



  • overclocking depends on a sample, and you shouldn't generalize the results of one card to all video cards of this trade mark or series. The overclocking results are not the obligatory characteristics of video cards. 

Test system and drivers

Testbeds: 

  • Pentium 4 2530 MHz based computer: 
    • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2530 MHz; 
    • Mainboard: ASUS P4T533 (i850E); 
    • 512 MB 32bit RDRAM PC4200; 
    • HDD: Seagate Barracuda IV 40GB; 
    • OS: Windows XP. 

The test system was coupled with ViewSonic P810 (21") and ViewSonic P817 (21") monitors.

In the tests we used ATI's drivers ver.6.255. S3TC was off in the applications. 

Test results

Before we start examining 2D quality I should say that there is no a complete technique of objective estimation of this parameter because:

  1. Almost all modern 3D accelerators can have 2D quality much dependent on a certain sample, and it's impossible to trace all cards; 
  2. 2D quality depends not only on a video card, but also on a monitor and a cable; 
  3. Besides, certain monitors do not get along with certain video cards.

As for the tested samples, together with the ViewSonic P817 monitor and BNC Bargo cable the cards showed excellent quality at the following resolutions and frequencies: 


 
YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9000 64MB  1600x1200x75Hz (satisfactory), 1280x1024x100Hz, 1024x768x100Hz 
YUAN XpertVision RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB  1600x1200x85Hz, 1280x1024x120Hz, 1024x768x160Hz 

 

Test results: 3D quality

I think it's not necessary to discuss once again the performance of such cards as our 3Digest covers all these issues. Today you will see some screenshots from the games obtained with the RADEON 9000 and 9700. In comparison there are screenshots made with the GeForce4 Ti. 


 
Games / Cards 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti













































































ATI RADEON 9000





-
























































ATI RADEON 9700











































































 

List of games:

  • 1. Return to Castle Wolfenstein 
  • 2. Unreal2 (alpha version) 
  • 3. Comanche4 
  • 4. Jedi Knight II Outcast 
  • 5. Morrowind 
  • 6. Colin McRAE Rally2 
  • 7. Red Faction 
  • 8. Rally Trophy 
  • 9. Need For Speed 
  • 10. Venom 
  • 11. Unreal Tournament 2003 DEMO 
  • 12. DOOM 3 v0.02 


 
Games / Cards 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti



























































ATI RADEON 9000



























































ATI RADEON 9700




























































 

List of games:

  • 13. Blade of Darkness 
  • 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 


 
Games / Cards 25 26 27 28 29 30
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti



































ATI RADEON 9000



































ATI RADEON 9700




































 

List of games and tests:

  • 25. Command and Conquer: Renegade 
  • 26. No One Lives Forever 2 Demo 
  • 27. AquaNox 
  • 28. Serious Sam: The Second Encounter 
  • 29. IL2: Shturmovik (Attack Plane)
  • 30. MoHAA 

I think no comments are needed. The Alpha version of the Unreal2 failed to start on the RADEON 9000, but who is guilty is unknown especially because this game is already available in stores (in the next 3Digest we will publish the screenshots from the release). 

As to operation of the cards, the RADEON 9700 PRO showed no unstability and caused no hanging; the card works on a high level like all the others RADEON 9700 PRO based solutions tested before (in case of a good power supply unit for at least 300 W as well as other high-grade hardware). We can't examine operation of the card in all games; if you speak Russian you can go to the forum at iXBT or Radeon2.ru where you can find out how to solve various problems. English speakers can pop into Rage3D where the guys deeply study performance of the RADEON 9700 in all possible games and they often have experts from ATI who can answer questions concerning problems the card has in one or another game. 

The RADEON 9000 based card from YUAN left a less pleasant impression because of the unstable operation on the nForce2; some readers also mention problems on other platforms. On the i850/7205 this card works flawlessly. However, the downsides can be forgiven as its price is one of the lowest among all RADEON 9000 (though you should carefully read the reviews before deciding on a card! :-) ). 

Conclusion

Everything that should be said is said above :-). 

In our 3Digest you can find complete comparison characteristics of video cards of this and other classes. 

Highs:

  • Excellent performance in 3D games (RADEON 9700 PRO); 
  • Nice build quality of the RADEON 9700 PRO; 
  • TV-out; 
  • The RADEON 9700 PRO cards comes with S-Video-to-RCA and DVI-to-d-Sub adapters; 

Lows:

  • Unstable operation of the RADEON 9000 on some platforms; 
  • No adapters for the RADEON 9000 card. 


 
 
 

Andrey Vorobiev  (anvakams@ixbt.com
 

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