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» Channels :: Graphics Card
Gigabyte MAYA II GV-R9500 Pro 128MB
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 14th February, 2003
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

ATI has created one hell of a stir in the world of graphics cards with its powerful R300 core. It is truly a force to be reckoned with when a half-a-year old RADEON 9700 Pro graphics card is still able to hold out on its own against the preliminary results obtained by the heavily hyped NVIDIA GeForce FX. We shall investigate upon it in further detail after the GeForce FX is readily available in the stores.

In any case, a card like GeForce FX would be priced at such a premium when it does become available, you could probably set up a whole budget system off its retail price tag. In the meantime, what sort of graphics card should a frequent gamer set his sights on? The RADEON 9700 Pro is not within easy reach of many individuals either. Fortunately, the R300 core was offered in four RADEON flavors to garner a wider market:-

Graphics Cores Comparison
Graphics Cores / Specs RADEON 9700 Pro RADEON 9700 RADEON 9500 Pro RADEON 9500
Core Code R300 R300 R300 R300
Core Clock 325MHz 275MHz 275MHz 275MHz
Rendering Pipelines 8 8 8 4
Pixel Fill Rate (MPixels/s) 2,600 2,200 2,200 1,100
FSAA Mode Multi Sampling Multi Sampling Multi Sampling Multi Sampling
Memory Capacity (MB) 128 / 256 128 / 256 128 64 / 128
Memory Clock 310MHz (620MHz DDR) 270MHz (540MHz DDR) 270MHz (540MHz DDR) 270MHz (540MHz DDR)
DDR Memory Bus 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 19.8GB/s 17.2GB/s 8.6GB/s 8.6GB/s

We have already reviewed the RADEON 9700 Pro and RADEON 9500-based graphics cards and we have come to know what to expect from them. The Gigabyte MAYA II GV-R9500 Pro 128MB is a RADEON 9500 Pro graphics card and it is the first of this variant that we have received.


As listed in the table, the only distinction in specifications from the previously reviewed Gigabyte MAYA GV-R9500 64MB (a RADEON 9500 card) is that it has eight full rendering pipelines and the increased amount of memory. Unfortunately, it does not have a 256-bit memory interface like the RADEON 9700 counterparts. Even so, the Gigabyte MAYA II GV-R9500 Pro 128MB churned out very compelling results for its price category and in view of its immediate competitor – the NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600. Here is its list of specifications: -

Gigabyte MAYA II GV-R9500 Pro 128MB Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • ATI RADEON 9500 Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
  • Eight parallel rendering pipelines
  • Four parallel geometry engines
  • 128-bit DDR memory interface
  • AGP 8X support
  • SMARTSHADER™ 2.0
    • 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
  • SMOOTHVISION™ 2.0
    • 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)
  • HYPER Z™ III
    • 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
  • VIDEOSHADER™
    • 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
  • Optimized for Pentium® 4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon™ 3DNow!
  • PC 2002 compliant
Graphics Memory
  • 128MB DDR SDRAM (Hynix 3.6ns wBGA)
RAMDAC
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI & HDCP compliant)
Connectors
  • 15-pin D-sub VGA connector (supports up to 2048x1536 @ 66Hz)
  • 1x DVI-I connector
  • 1x mini-DIN connector for TV-out (supports up to 1024x768)
Driver & Software
  • Driver support for Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 / XP
  • Gigabyte V-Tuner
  • CyberLink PowerDVD XP 4.0
  • Rune
  • Serious Sam: The First Encounter
  • 4x4 EVO and Oni (in 1 CD, Lite version)
Other Information
  • AGP 2.0 / 3.0 slot required (1.5V)
  • 1 PCI-assigned IRQ Required

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