The RADEON 9500 family is based on the same R300 core as the RADEON 9700/RADEON 9700 PRO. This means that you’ll be getting the same floating-point precision present in the RADEON 9700 line. With RADEON 9500 PRO, ATI is essentially bringing DirectX 9 compliance to the mainstream market, and bringing an incredible amount of performance with it.
Like the RADEON 9700 (non-PRO), the RADEON 9500 PRO boasts a 275MHz core clock speed that is paired with 128MB of 270MHz DDR memory (effectively 540MHz). Unlike RADEON 9700 however, the RADEON 9500 PRO features a 128-bit memory interface, half the size of the 256-bit interface present on the RADEON 9700 line. This cuts memory bandwidth to 8.8GB/sec, the same figure as NVIDIA’s GeForce4 Ti 4400.
Lets take a look at the rest of the RADEON 9500 PRO’s specs:
ATI RADEON 9500 PRO Visual Processing Unit with 275MHz engine clock
Microsoft DirectX 9.0 and the latest OpenGL functionality
8 parallel rendering pipelines
128-bit floating-point color precision
4 parallel geometry engines
128-bit DDR memory interface
128MB DDR memory at 540MHz
SMARTSHADER 2.0 technology
SMOOTHVISION 2.0 technology
HYPERZ III technology
TRUFORM 2.0 technology
AGP 8X support
DVD video playback
Dual monitor support
DVI-I (Digital flat panel support)
S-Video/Composite connector for TV/VCR
With its eight-pixel pipeline architecture and 275MHz core clock frequency, RADEON 9500 completely outclasses its closest competitor (NVIDIA’s GeForce4 Ti 4200) on paper, and in some cases is even superior to GeForce4 Ti 4600. For instance, RADEON 9500 PRO boasts twice the fill rate of GeForce4 Ti 4200, but just over three times the anti-aliased fill rate of Ti 4200. In fact, RADEON 9500 PRO’s anti-aliased fill rate of 13.2 billion AA samples/sec is nearly twice that of GeForce4 Ti 4600’s 4.8 billion AA samples/sec.
We’ll see if RADEON 9500 PRO has enough memory bandwidth to outperform GeForce4 Ti 4600 in anti-aliased situations a little later in this article, but certainly the core itself is up to the task.
|RADEON 9500 PRO and GeForce4 Ti 4200 Comparison
||GeForce4 Ti 4200
|Anti-Aliased Fill Rate
||13.2 Billion AA samples/sec
||4.0 Billion AA samples/sec