Radeon 9700 Pro Battle Tyan vs Gigabyte

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The Gigabyte Maya II R9700 Pro
Vs.
The Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro
Two Full Featured Radeon 9700 Pros Go Head to Head...

By - Marco Chiappetta
January 5, 2003

   

It has been about 5 months since the first round of "Built by ATi" RADEON 9700 Pro boards found their way onto store shelves.  Immediately after the first set of benchmarks and image quality comparisons hit the web, it was clear that ATi had a winner on their hands.  Performance was second to none, and image quality with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic filtering enabled was top notch.  OEMs were itching to ship products "Powered by ATi's" latest flagship VPU.  A few companies released cards that were virtually identical to the ATi built products.  However, two companies, Gigabyte and Tyan, have since brought cards to the market that differ slightly from the reference design (at least in appearance).  Tonight on HotHardware, we're going to take a look at Gigabyte's Maya II R9700 Pro and Tyan's Tachyon G9700 Pro.  These two cards have generated quite a buzz in the hardware community...read on and find out why...

Specifications & Features of the Radeon 9700 Pro VPU
107 Million Transistors of Pixel Pushing Power!

The Gigabyte Maya II R9700 Pro
       
 
The Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro

   
CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW

GRAPHICS TECHNOLOGY

  • RADEON? 9700 Visual Processing Unit (VPU) @ 325MHz

MEMORY CONFIGURATION

  • 128MB of double data rate SDRAM @ 310MHz (620MHz DDR)

3D GRAPHICS FEATURES

  • Eight parallel rendering pipelines process up to 2.6 billion pixels per second

  • Four parallel geometry engines process up to 325 million transformed and lit polygons per second

  • High precision 10-bit per channel framebuffer support

  • 256-bit DDR memory interface

  • AGP 8X support

SMARTSHADER? 2.0

  • Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable pixel and vertex shaders in hardware

  • 2.0 Pixel Shaders support up to 16 textures per rendering pass

  • 2.0 Vertex Shaders support vertex programs up to 1024 instructions with flow control

  • New 128-bit per pixel floating point color formats

  • Multiple Render Target (MRT) support

  • Shadow volume rendering acceleration

  • Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL via extensions

SMOOTHVISION? 2.0

  • State-of-the-art full-scene anti-aliasing

  • New technology processes up to 15.6 billion anti-aliased samples per second for unprecedented performance

  • Supports 2x, 4x, and 6x modes with programmable sample patterns

  • Advanced anisotropic filtering

  • Supports up to 16 bilinear samples (in performance mode) or trilinear samples (in quality mode) per pixel

  • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes

  • Adaptive algorithm with programmable sample patterns

  • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes

  • Adaptive algorithm with bilinear (performance) and trilinear (quality) options

  • Bandwidth-saving algorithm enables this feature with minimal performance cost

HYPERZ? III

  • Hierarchical Z-Buffer and Early Z Test reduce overdraw by detecting and discarding hidden pixels

  • Lossless Z-Buffer Compression and Fast Z-Buffer Clear reduce memory bandwidth consumption by over 50%

  • Fast Z-Buffer Clear

TRUFORM? 2.0

  • 2nd generation N-patch higher order surface support

  • Discrete and continuous tessellation levels per polygon for dynamic LOD

  • DirectX 9.0 displacement mapping

VIDEO FEATURES

VIDEOSHADER?

  • Seamless integration of programmable pixel shaders with video data

  • High quality, hardware accelerated de-blocking of internet streaming video

  • Noise removal filter for captured video

  • Integrated MPEG-2 decode

  • Hardware accelerated iDCT, motion compensation, and color space conversion

  • Top quality DVD and all-format DTV/HDTV decode with low CPU overhead

  • Back-end scaler delivers top quality playback

  • Upscaling and downscaling with 4-tap horizontal and vertical filtering

  • Filtered display of images up to 1920 pixels wide

  • Unique per-pixel adaptive de-interlacing feature combines the best elements of the ?bob? and ?add-field? (weave) techniques

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

  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400MHz DACs

  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI and HDCP compliant)

  • Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution

  • Optimized for Pentium® 4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon? 3Dnow!

  • PC 2002 compliant

DISPLAY FEATURES

  • Dual integrated display controllers

  • Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions and refresh rates

  • HYDRAVISION? software provides complete control over multi-display configurations with a user-friendly interface

  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel palette DACs operating at up to 400MHz

  • Integrated 165MHz TMDS transmitter supports resolutions up to QXGA (2048x1536) and complies with DVI and HDCP specifications

  • Integrated TV-Out support up to 1024x768 resolution

  • YPrPb output for direct drive of HDTV monitors

DISPLAY SUPPORT

  • 15-pin VGA connector for analog CRT

  • S-video or composite connector for TV/VCR

  • DVI-I connector for digital CRT or flat panel

  • Independent resolutions and refresh rates for any two connected displays

GENERAL FEATURES

  • Comprehensive 2x, 4x, and 8x AGP support

  • High performance quad-channel DDR memory interface supports 64/128/256MB configurations

  • Fully compliant with PC 2002 requirements

  • Optimized for Pentium® 4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon? 3Dnow! processor instructions

  • Supports optional THEATER? 200 companion chip for NTSC/PAL/SECAM video capture

  • Highly optimized 128-bit 2D engine with support for new Windows® XP GDI extensions


The Bundles:

 

GIGABYTE
 

 

 

TYAN
 

The Gigabyte Maya II R9700 Pro shipped with a very complete assortment of bundled accessories and software.  In addition to the obligatory driver CD, Gigabyte included a full version of Cyberlink PowerDVD 4 XP, probably the best DVD playback software on the market today.  There were also four full version games included, Serious Sam, Rune, Motocross Mania and Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2.  This hodgepodge may not be the most cutting edge group of games you've ever seen, but they were welcome additions nonetheless.  There were also "lite" versions of two more games, 4x4 Evo and Oni, bundled with the Maya II.  Lastly, Gigabyte included a DVI-to-15 Pin adapter, a composite video cable, an S-Video cable and a Molex power cable splitter as well.

When directly compared to Gigabyte's bundle, Tyan's was a bit more austere, however.  Included with the Tachyon G9700 Pro was a CD that contained drivers and Tyan's custom hardware monitoring software, as well as a copy of Intervideo's very capable WinDVD playback software.  A composite video cable, an S-Video cable, an S-Video-to-RCA adapter, a DVI-to-15 Pin adapter and a Molex power cable splitter were also included.  Overall, Tyan's bundle was good, but it lacked any game software.  Considering the price the Tachyon G9700 Pro commands, and the fact that the vast majority of people buying R300 powered video cards are gamers, we think including a game or two to showcase the hardware would be a good idea.

The Cards...

Tags:  Radeon, Gigabyte, ATT, pro

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