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       Sapphire The Beast All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro

Product :

  Graphics Card

Manufacturer :

  SAPPHIRE Tech

Reviewed by :

 Wayne Brooker

Price :

 £226.24 + VAT

Date :

  9th March, 2004

 

   Page No:   1
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Introduction:::...

There have been more than a few buzzwords used and abused since I first got involved in computing. From "multimedia" to "utility computing" we've been blitzed by a subtle combination of marketing speak and lofty dreams, but what ever happened to Bill Gates' visions for mass digital convergence?

Surely by now we should all be using fridges that automatically place orders online to replenish the goods we've taken out. Embedded RF tags should open doors, set alarm systems and switch off lights as we meander through our energy efficient homes. I've no doubt it's coming, but nowhere near as quickly as most of us thought it might.

In the world of graphics cards, one company has quite simply led the field for years with their innovative blend of high end multimedia capabilities coupled to varying levels of pixel juggling GPUs, and of course that company is ATi. Their All In Wonder series of graphics products has quite simply set the standards for others to aim at, and while we may be able to argue all day about who markets the better gaming product there's really nobody knows more about combining TV, video and raw 3D power than the Canadian veterans.

Since ATi switched their business model back in 1991 to allow AIB and ODM customers to sell ATi based products, the name SAPPHIRE has become synonymous with quality ATi graphics and motherboards, and it's their All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro, or "The Beast" as they've christened it, that I'm reviewing today. With Hercules' recent announcement that they are pulling out of the graphics card business Sapphire may soon be the only name you'll find when buying All-In-Wonder products in Europe!

Why break with convention, let's start with a glance over the specs:

Features:

  • Powered by the RADEON™ 9800 PRO visual processing unit
  • Unparalleled TV and DVD features: TV-ON-DEMAND™, Gemstar GUIDE Plus+™, mulTView™, VIDEOSOAP™, THRUVIEW™ and much more
  • Easily edit video into your own creations: Video CD and DVD Authoring
  • *Optional*Radio frequency wireless remote for your PC provides a hand held 30-foot user interface. Control your mouse and PC applications at the click of a button.
  • Stereo TV tuner with 125 channels
  • Intelligent Teletext on your PC
  • Zoom & pan - zoom in on the action on-screen and choose your own close-ups
  • 128MB DDR memory accelerates the latest 3D games
  • 256-bit memory interface removes hardware performance bottleneck and provides end users with faster 3D graphics
  • Industry's first 8-pixel pipeline architecture, providing twice the rendering power of any currently competing product.
  • Supports the new AGP 8X standard, providing a high-speed link between the graphics board and the rest of the PC (2.0 GB/sec)
  • First to fully support DirectX® 9.0 and the latest OpenGL® functionality
  • New SMARTSHADER™ 2.0 technology allows users to experience complex, movie-quality effects in next-generation 3D games and applications
  • SMOOTHVISION™ 2.0 technology enhances image quality by removing jagged edges and bringing out fine texture detail, without compromising performance
  • 128-bit floating-point color precision allows for a greater range of colors and brightness
  • Unique VIDEOSHADER™ engine uses programmable pixel shaders to accelerate video processing and provide better-looking visuals
  • ATI's new FULLSTREAM™ technology removes blocky artifacts from Streaming and Internet video and provides sharper image quality

 

Monitor
Resolution
Maximum
Refresh Rate (Hz)

640x480

200
800x600 200
1024x768 200
1152x864 200
1280x1024 160
1600x1200 120
1920x1080 120
1920x1200 100
1920x1440 90
2048x1536 85
 

Maximum 3D Resolutions

Resolution
65K colors 2048x1536
16.7M colors 2048x1536

 

There are a lot of features to cover and most of the following pages are heavy on graphics content so dial-up users may need to be a little patient while all the images load fully.

 


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Website is designed by Mohsin Ali. All graphics is (C) Shapps Technologies 2001-2002.