There are many new games that are coming out, or that are already out, that
have some great graphics but are tough on video cards and can sometimes be too
much for your average video card to process. Many gamers want all the
frames that they can get, but not at the loss of visual quality / eye candy. With games like Unreal
Tournament 2003, it is hard to find a video card that can run through the whole game
smoothly with high detailed graphics and at high resolutions. NVIDIA released the
GeForce 4's to accommodate the gamers as well as the everyday average user. The
GeForce 4's in general are very fast, and up until now the best performing card
on the market. ATI has responded with the Radeon 9700 graphics card which was
hyped up for quite some time before the release.
Surprisingly the Radeon 9700 doesn't just try to play catch-up with the GF4's,
it leaves them in the dust, as you
will see later in this review.
Upon opening the package, the first thing that I noticed was a large label on
the electrostatic bag that contained the video card. It said that the 9700
required an extra power connection from the computer's power supply, as opposed to just the
power that it receives from the AGP slot. I found this interesting as the GeForce
4 Ti4600 had nothing like this even with its gargantuan size. Obviously, this means that the card draws some
serious power and requires more than other video cards. This set the
tone for me, as it gave me the impression that this card was a beast.
What you get:
Radeon 9700 Graphics Card
Drivers CD and software
Composite and s-video cables
S-video to composite adapter
DVI to VGA Dongle
8 Parallel Rendering Pipelines
4 Parallel Geometry Engines
256-bit DDR Memory
128MB DDR Memory
Microsoft DirectX 9.0 and the Latest OpenGL Functionality
AGP 8x Support
SMARTSHADER 2.0 Technology - allows users to experience complex,
movie-quality effects in next-generation 3D games and applications.
SMOOTHVISION 2.0 Technology - technology provides new levels of image quality
with advanced full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) and anisotropic filtering. That
is, this technology enhances image quality by removing jagged edges and bringing
out fine texture detail, without compromising performance. Floating-point color
precision allows for a greater range of colors and brightness.
HYPER Z III Technology
TRUFORM 2.0 Technology
VIDEOSHADER Engine - a seamless integration of pixel shaders with video. The
RADEON™ 9700 VPU also offers FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology that
removes blocky artifacts (noise removal filtering) for captured video and
provides sharper image quality.
FULLSTREAM Technology - The latest advancement in video processing
technology, is a hardware accelerated filtering method that improves the
performance and visual quality of streaming video playback.