Photo of the day: Sapphire Atlantis RADEON 9800SE 128MB and RADEON 9800 XT
Sapphire Atlantis RADEON 9800SE 128MB is a 128-bit card on 9800SE GPU with 325/270 (540) MHz clock speeds. As Sapphire officially released this product into retail, 9800SE is not longer a "pig in a poke". But we remind that there are still 9800SE versions in the market — one with 256-bit bus (on 9700 Pro PCB) and, like this one, with 128-bit bus.
According to the PCB, it´s a copy of RADEON 9500 PRO or 9500 (128-bit) with R350 instead of R300. So the performance promises to be some higher than that of RADEON 9500 due to the higher 325MHz (vs. 275MHz of 9500). It makes me think that $210-220 that traders ask for such cards, are too much, as today 9500 costs about $140, so the right price for 9800SE (128-bit) is about $170. Considering the bus differences mentioned above, be careful!
As for the 9800XT product, we must say that Sapphire changed its vision of a high-end solution and introduced this super accelerator accordingly. Speaking of a humanoid on the box, considering the photo of Gordon Freeman is nearby, the former should be a Half-Life 2 character. This is underlined more by a "free HL2" coupon with an activation code.
With humanoid or not, the box is attractive with its bump stamping, "window", etc. The card itself is actually made by ATI, while Sapphire just put its sticket on the cooler.
Note that Sapphire has omitted "Powered by ATI" sticker and replaced it with "Fueled by Sapphire". This is nothing more than a marketing "trick" to underline higher graphics quality — "High Octane Graphics". It seems the "high octane" additions are SMARTSHADER 2.0, SMOOTHVISION 2.1 and VIDEOSHADER technologies.
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