RADEON X800 PRO into RADEON X800 XT Modification Under Question@ 2004/05/15
A Lottery For Computer Enthusiasts
In order to pick up the number of chips that could be sold to customers, ATI Technologies added a capability to disable defective rendering pipelines – certain corrupted integrated circuits inside graphics processor – so that they did not affect the operating process of the chip negatively.
Such cut-down products are typically sold at lower price-points compared to full-speed SKUs, but still deliver performance that is high-enough to attract attention of gamers. But because of high speed and low cost the demand for such graphics cards is usually above the level the company is able to supply such “partly-faulty” chips. As a result, the firm disables the rendering pipelines, sometimes referred as “pixel pipelines” on fully-functional graphics processors so to fulfill the demand. Since there is usually a way to re-enable the pipelines, some experienced end-users succeed in this and the product series quickly becomes very popular among such type of customers.
In the past two years ATI Technologies unveiled two graphics designs that allowed to re-enable 4 pixel pipelines and end up with a powerful visual processing unit with 8 rendering pipes – the RADEON 9500 and the RADEON 9800 SE. To set the additional pipes work, a number of measures could be performed: from installation of certain software to re-soldering certain resistors on the graphics processor. While it is natural that not all graphics cards allow such modification, power-users usually try to play the lottery.