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Asus A9800XT/TVD/256 Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review

Asus A9800XT/TVD/256 Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: While it is common knowledge that the Radeon 9800XT GPU is one fast little chip, what really sets the Asus A9800XT/TVD/256 apart from the competition is the impressive software bundle it ships with.
 86% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Asus Mar 09 2004   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Asus A9800XT/TVD/256

Asus A9800XT/TVD/256 Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review

In an effort to satisfy our never ending need for more bandwidth, the beloved AGP slot will soon go the way of the dodo... I can still remember when the first brown AGP slots were introduced about five years ago, billed as the savoir for 3D graphics accelerators. With the switch from PCI videocards, gamers were no longer restricted to the slow 33 MHz PCI bus, and 133MB/s bandwidth limits of that interface.

Clocked first at 66 MHz, there were originally two modes for AGP videocards; "classic" which could transmit data only once per clock cycle, and "turbo" which transferred data on both the rising and falling edge of each clock signal, just like DDR memory. Classic mode offered twice the bandwidth of a PCI videocard (266MB/s) and 2x AGP supplied up to 533 MB/s bandwidth - an enormous amount back in the day.

Next came AGP revision 2.0 which opened the door to 4x AGP.... which again doubled the bandwidth, this time to 1.06 GB/s. In 2002 the AGP slot got its last upgrade, moving from 4X AGP to 8X AGP which theoretically supplied a videocard with up to 2.1 GB/s bandwidth. While 8x AGP is perfectly fine for today's videocards, it's simply too restrictive a pipeline for future videocard processors. For this reason, PCI Express was born. PCI Express scales higher and faster than the AGP slot ever could, but on the down side is completely incompatible with the old standard. They say change is good, so get ready for an interesting spring in the graphics market this year. In the mean time, 8X AGP cards aren't totally obscure yet, and as the Asus A9800XT will soon demonstrate, they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Asus A9800XT/TVD/256


Installation Guide, Software Reference Manual, Driver CD, Battle Engine Aquila, Gun Metal, 5 Game Demo CD, Power Director, Asus DVD, Uled Cool3D, Media Show CD, VIVO Break out box, DVI to analog converter.

With a retail price of $653 CDN ($500 US) the Asus A9800XT/TVD/256 is one of the last true high-end cards to be built on the AGP interface. While it is common knowledge that the Radeon 9800XT GPU is one fast little chip, what really sets the Asus A9800XT/TVD/256 apart from the competition is the impressive software bundle it ships with.

In that software bundle you get Battle Engine Aquaila, Gun Metal and a five game demo CD. You'll also find a copy of Asus DVD, PowerDirector and how could I forget, a coupon for Half Life 2 when it's available! Thanks to the ATi Rage Theatre chip the A9800XT/TVD/256 is full VIVO compatible, and to this end Asus include a great little VIVO break out box along with the card. Naturally, dual screens are an option care of a DVI-to-analog converter.

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Contents of Article: Asus A9800XT/TVD/256
 Pg 1.  — Asus A9800XT/TVD/256 Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  Cooling and Software Utilities
 Pg 3.  Smart Doctor and Game Face
 Pg 4.  Overclocking one of the fastest cards in the world!
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, CodeCreatures
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: AquaMark 2.3
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3, Gun Metal
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 9.  Advanced Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, X2: The Threat
 Pg 10.  Advanced Benchmarks: UT2003, Conclusion
 Pg 11.  An extremely well rounded card!

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