Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro

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The Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro
A Little Something To Break the Monotony

By - Marco Chiappetta
August 6, 2003


For the last few months, budget conscious enthusiasts have been enamored with ATi's Radeon 9600 Pro GPU.  And when you really think about it, what's not to like?  It's a relatively inexpensive product, with a great feature set and above average performance.  The Radeon 9600 Pro has also earned a reputation for being quite the overclocker.  Back in April, when we first got our hands on an ATi built Radeon 9600 Pro, we overclocked its core and memory well beyond their default speeds and saw huge performance gains.  Today on HotHardware.Com, we're going to take a long look at Tyan's version of the Radeon 9600 Pro, the Tachyon G9600 Pro.  This card boasts a slightly redesigned PCB with a custom cooling solution, and like some previous cards in the Tachyon line-up, it also sports hardware monitoring capabilities not found on competing products.  Tyan has long been known for manufacturing high-end server class mainboards, but they have recently made quite a splash with their modified Tachyon cards.  We have previously reviewed Tyan's G9500 and G9700 Pros, and were impressed by both.  Let's move on and see if Tyan's got another winner on their hands with the Tachyon G9600 Pro...

     
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Specifications & Features of the Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro
The Blue Monster

GRAPHICS TECHNOLOGY

RV350 Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
Core Clock Speed 400MHz - 1.6GP/s

MEMORY CONFIGURATION

  • 128MB of DDR RAM

  • 300MHz DDR / 600MHz Effective Speed - 9.6GB/s

  • 128-bit Memory Interface

3D GRAPHICS FEATURES

  • Four parallel rendering pipelines process up to 1.6 billion pixels per second

  • High precision 10-bit per channel framebuffer support

  • 128-bit DDR memory interface

  • AGP 8X support

SMARTSHADER 2.1

  • 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 2.1

  • 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

DISPLAY SUPPORT

  • 15-pin VGA connector for analog CRT / DVI-I connector for digital CRT or flat panel

  • S-video or composite connector for TV/VCR

  • Independent resolutions and refresh rates for any two connected displays

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

  • 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

GENERAL FEATURES

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

  • 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 BUNDLE

Tyan's Tachyon G9600 Pro ships with a relatively spartan assortment of bundled software and accessories, especially when compared to other "premium" graphics cards currently available.  Tyan includes a Quick Installation Guide, a User's Manual and a guide to using their proprietary Graphics Monitor software, along with a driver / utility CD-ROM.   The CD contains some basic free programs like Acrobat Reader 5, DirectX, a few Demos and a Full Version of Intervideo's WinDVD playback software.  A composite video cable, an S-Video cable, an S-video-to-RCA adapter and a DVI-to-DB15 adapter are also included with the card.  Overall, the Tachyon's bundle is not bad, but we would have liked to have seem some games included with G9600 Pro as well.
 


     
TYAN GRAPHICS MONITOR

One aspect of the G9600 Pro's bundle that is unique is the Tachyon Graphics Monitor software.  Tyan tweaked ATi's reference Radeon 9600 Pro design to incorporate a few features not found on similar cards.  Like some of its predecessors, the Tachyon G9600 Pro has hardware monitoring capabilities built-in.  Using the Tachyon Graphics Monitor software, users can monitor GPU and Memory voltages and temperatures, and can also alter the speed of the cooling fan to any speed between 3400RPM and 5400RPM.  The cooling fan can also be throttled based on GPU temperatures.  The Tachyon Graphics Monitor software gives users the ability to overclock their card as well.  GPU frequencies range from 380MHz on up to 590MHz, while memory frequencies are selectable up to 630MHz.

Next Up - The Card, Screen Shots & Gaming... 

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