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     Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro Ultimate Edition

Product :

 Graphics Card

Manufacturer :

Sapphire

Reviewed by :

Wayne Brooker

Price :

£307.85 inc VAT

Date :

December 23rd, 2003.

 

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Introduction:::...

It wasn't so very long ago that the size of your manhood was directly proportional to the amount of noise your PC could create. Brick-like copper coolers topped with a pair of annoyingly loud fans were what sent pulses racing and wallets twitching as geeks the world over had to own the biggest, baddest and loudest kit their money could buy them.

Then, suddenly, it all changed!

Almost overnight we were struck by the silent PC revolution. No longer was it cool to have a PC that made it impossible to hold a conversation in the same room, now your skill was judged by how quiet you could keep your rig while still supplying all the necessary cooling to keep it running without falling over.

Unlike the noisy era, the silent era is far more of a challenge. Any fool can slap a huge fan on a huge sink and plug it all in. Fewer can keep things to a whisper and still run a stable system, or a least that was the case before companies began to spot the trend and introduce specialist hardware designed to simplify the process.

Everything with a fan became a legitimate target and after the humble CPU and power supply had been catered for by using larger fans or water cooling setups, and power supplies had been doctored with thermal control circuits to keep fans spinning no faster than they absolutely had to for the thermal conditions inside, it was time to take a look at the next item on the hitlist, the graphics card.

With modern GPUs creating some quite considerable heat, silent cooling was always going to be a challenge, though a technology existed that could help meet that challenge, a technology that has in fact been with us for far longer than most of us realise....the heatpipe. By virtue of the heat produced it was never likely that a passive cooling solution was going to be small or pretty, but on this occasion function was far more important than form.

Today's review candidate is Sapphire's Radeon 9800 Pro Ultimate Edition, a passively cooled Radeon 9800 Pro that offers all the power and flexibility of the stock 9800 Pro but does it silently!

Here's the specs:

Features:

  • 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 only 8-pipeline graphics solution in its 2nd generation, 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™ 2.1 technology allows users to experience complex, movie-quality effects in next-generation 3D games and applications
  • SMOOTHVISION™ 2.1 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

ADDITIONAL POWER CONNECTION REQUIREMENTS

The Radeon 9800 Pro must be connected to the computer? power supply to meet its performance and high-speed memory requirements.
In order to supply the ATI Graphics Accelerator card with the necessary power, we have included the Power Extension Cable.
Use the Power Extension Cable to connect the Radeon 9800Pro to the computer hard drive power connector.

1. Remove the power cable from the hard drive.
2. Connect the 4-pin connector of the Power Extension Cable to the Radeon 9800 Pro power connector.
3. Connect the Power Extension Cable to the power supply connector.
4. Connect the Power Extension Cable to the Hard Drive connector.

Available in both FULL Retail and Lite Retail Versions

Full retail indicates that the package contains the entire bundle including the Game software bundle and utilities. The Lite retail versions do not come bundled with the software bundle and are packaged with the neccessities needed to enjoy the pinnacle in performance from Sapphire alone.

 

 


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