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Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9600 Pro

Company: Sapphire
Product: Atlantis Radeon 9600 Pro
Street Price: ~$165
Date Reviewed:  June 17, 2003
Reviewed By: Joey Chao


It hasn't been that long since ATI released the R350 core based on the .13-micron manufacturing process. The new chip is aimed at the mainstream market and provides some nice features such as DirectX 9 support as well as 8x AGP. The 9600 Pro cards come in clocked at 400 MHz core and 300 MHz memory. Although the speeds are faster than the 9500 Pro cards, the actual performance is closer to the 9500 (non Pro) cards because the 9600 Pro has four rendering pipelines versus the eight on the 9500 Pro. The 9600 Pro is a definite competitor with the GeForce FX5600 Ultra, although we do not have a FX5600 Ultra to compare. Check out a few other reviews and you will see exactly how close the competition is with the NVIDIA card.

There are a few manufacturers who are using the ATi R350 chip and today we take a look at Sapphire's version of the 9600 Pro. The Sapphire Atlantis 9600 Pro comes bundled with some really nice features such as TV-out, Redline overclocking software, and a full version of Soldier of Fortune II. Sapphire has been a big supporter of ATi graphics chips, making cards based solely on ATi's chips. If you are interested in other cards made by Sapphire but using a different chip like the 9700 Pro, follow this link to view all the video solutions by Sapphire.

With ATi and NVIDIA once again in a heated battle, it will be interesting to see as we get more cards in how FX series will compare to ATi's latest cards. At the moment, as we stated earlier, we do not have a lot of cards to compare, so bear with us. As time rolls on we will be able to better compare the cards but for now, you'll just have to do without the FX line. With all that being said, let us move on and see what the Sapphire Atlantis 9600 Pro has to offer to the mainstream market.



  • 4 parallel rendering pipelines
  • 2 parallel geometry engines
  • 128-bit DDR memory interface
  • AGP 8X support
    • Programmable pixel and vertex shaders
    • 16 textures per pass
    • Pixel shaders up to 160 instructions with 128-bit floating point precision
    • Vertex shaders up to 1024 instructions with flow control
    • Multiple render target support
    • Shadow volume rendering acceleration
    • High precision 10-bit per channel frame buffer support
    • Supports DirectX® 9.0 and the latest version of OpenGL®
    • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes
      • Adaptive algorithm with programmable sample patterns
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes
      • Adaptive algorithm with bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options
    • 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
    • Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 24:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
  • TRUFORM™ 2.0
    • 2nd generation N-Patch higher order surface support
    • Discrete and continuous tessellation levels per polygon
    • Displacement mapping
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video
    • FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology
    • Noise removal filtering for captured video
  • MPEG-2 decoding with motion compensation, iDCT and color space conversion
  • All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
  • YPrPb component output*
  • Adaptive de-interlacing and frame rate conversion
  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant)
  • Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
  • Optimized for Pentium® 4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon™ 3Dnow!
  • PC 2002 compliant


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