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On ATI Radeon 9700 Pro overclocking potential

According to Andrew Vorobyev, our video editor, new ATI Radeon 9700 Pro cards have an interesting feature: those who tried to overclock them might have noticed a gap between GPU and heatsink (thanks to bvscool, our forum member, for help). To illustrate Andrew made this photo (click to enlarge):

The match lies on the GPU with heatsink removed. Notice the about 1mm gap between chip walls and the crystal! ATI´s thermogasket doesn’t add to the overclocking potential. Naturally, if you remove it, you will have a lot of thermal grease...

Those who lowered walls for better chip-cooler contact easily raised R9700 Pro clock up to 400 MHz.

Is it the secret of ATI? Perhaps, the company plans to release an "ultra" Radeon 9700 Pro to compete with NV30? With lower frame, special cooler and chip place, and selected GPUs, operating at 400 or even 425 MHz, the release of such cards get more and more real. Furthermore, as Radeon 9700 Pro production has already been honed, nothing can prevent from honing the process technology as well for better yield.

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