ATI's RADEON 9700 PRO: Turning Heads
Since its launch earlier this year, ATI RADEON 9700 PRO has been doing nothing but turning heads. The card earned our Editorís Choice Award; numerous other publications have also praised the 9700 PRO. Why is everyone in such awe of this $400 graphics card? Quite simply, because itís one of the most revolutionary product releases in recent memory.
Its floating-point pipeline allows the VPU to perform all kinds of complicated math that wasnít possible with integer-based graphics cores, allowing for increased precision. And with its 128-bit color support, the RADEON 9700 PRO is capable of outputting images with vibrant color ranges, resulting in incredibly photo-realistic images. Graphics card manufacturers have been boasting on the convergence of the film industry to real-time graphics on the PC relentlessly since DirectX 8 was released, the RADEON 9700 PRO takes the PC one step closer to making that happen.
DirectX 9 pixel and vertex shaders are more powerful than their predecessors; the number of textures supported and the maximum number of instructions themselves are dramatically increased over DirectX 8 shaders. The new shaders are also easier for content developers to work with. Instead of writing multiple shaders to produce a desired result (a common example being multiple layers of hair or fur), the same task can be accomplished writing one simple shader that is then repeated to create the final effect.
Of course, DirectX 9 games that support these features are still many months away from release. With this in mind the RADEON 9700 PRO has been designed to bring new levels of 3D performance to the PC. Its eight-pixel pipeline architecture is paired with a 325MHz core, resulting in a fill-rate of 2.6 Gigapixels/second, twice that of NVIDIAís GeForce4 Ti 4600. Its anti-aliased fill-rate is even more powerful; at 15.6 billion AA/samples/second it offers three times the performance of anything else on the market.
To make a long story short, the RADEON 9700 PRO VPU brings new levels of performance to the PC desktop. On top of this incredible performance is its equally compelling visual quality. ATIís anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing implementations go one step beyond NVIDIAís for even sharper detail.
With ALL-IN-WONDER 9700 PRO, ATI fuses this powerful graphics core to a multimedia engine that is just as powerful. ALL-IN-WONDER 9700 PRO boasts a stereo TV tuner, an all-new THEATER 200 for even better audio/video quality, and a powerful software suite for video editing as well as recording your favorite TV programs.