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Be warned: RADEONs 9800/9800SE are different!

Troubled news come from our videolab. Currently there are multiple Radeon 9800SE models in the market that differ just fundamentally! So you can easily be fooled by unfair traders offering you a bad product. But let´s put things in order.

Below is a photo of Sapphire´s Atlantis RADEON 9800SE 128MB.

The clock speeds are 325/540 MHz and everything seems to be good, but! This card has a 128-bit bus! If you remember, we´ve posted a photo of PowerColor´s 9800SE before. The trick is the PowerColor´s model bases on 9700 Pro PCB with 256-bit bus. But Sapphire´s 9800SE features 128-bit bus only. What you should pay attention to first: Sapphire´s 128-bit 9800SE have black PCB, while PowerColor´s 256-bit 9800SE have red PCB.

Now the most interesting: currently 128-bit RADEON 9800SE 128MB are shipped in large quantities, with major OEM shipments via non-official channels, so many distributors "occasionally forget" to mark them SE. It´s clear that the price and performance difference between 9800SE and non-SE (currently priced about $240) is very considerable.

So, be warned: if you see a non-Pro, know it´s one of the four models:

  • RADEON 9800 SE 128bit BGA
  • RADEON 9800 SE 128bit TSOP
  • RADEON 9800 SE 256bit BGA
  • RADEON 9800

Besides, you can also stumble upon Sapphire´s 9800 Pro Lite. This one isn´t tricky at all the same 9800 Pro with nominal clock speeds, performance, but on another PCB. But it´s price is sometimes $70 less!

As Sapphire told us, 9800 Pro Lite differs from usual 9800 Pro only by the "lite retail" pack. So the price is mostly reduced at the expense of the bundle.

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