Connect3D 9500 128Mb: 9700 Pro performance for <€200?

Videocards/VGA Reviews by richbastard @ 2003-01-24

The 9700 (Pro) has proven to be the best performing 3D card for the past half year. However, not every PC enthousiast is willing to spend €400 on a 3D card. Until now the best bang for the buck card in the €150-200 range was the Nvidia GF4 Ti4200, but ATI wanted a piece of that pie too so they released the cheaper 9500 / 9500 Pro. Is ATI about to dethrone Nvidia in de sub €200 market? Read on.

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Feature95009500 pro97009700 pro
#pixel pipelines4888
memory bus128/256128256256
core speed275275275325
mem speed270270270310
mem type3.63.63.3/3.62.8/3.3
mem size64/128128128128

So, to sum up: the 9700 is exact the same as the 9700 Pro, expect it´s running on lower core & memory frequency.
Increasing the core frequency shouldn´t be a problem, but most models are equiped with cheaper ram (3.6ns = 275mhz). Don´t expect to see the memory go as high as a 9700Pro.

A 9500 Pro is the same as a 9700 pro, but the memory bandwith is cut in half. Still, this cards remains very powerfull and can be compared to a GF4 Ti4600. It even outperforms it when FS AA is enabled.

The 9500 non pro is a 9500 pro with 4 of the 8 pixel pipelines disabled. This results in a major performance loss, which makes the 9500 Pro a better buy. However, the 4 pipelines are DISABLED, not REMOVED. A simple software hack can re-enable these pipelines AND double the memory bandwith to 256bit. Basicly, this software hack turns your 9500 non pro into a 9700! We will go into this later on.
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