Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro - HotHardware

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


     
(DUAL-DVI VERSION ALSO AVAILABLE)

     

At first glance, the Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro looks similar to a reference ATi Radeon 9600 Pro with an oversized cooler, but there are some subtle, yet significant differences.  First, the G9600 Pro's PCB is about 1/4" longer than ATi's reference design.  The extra real estate is necessary to accommodate the hardware monitoring circuitry and piezo speaker mounted at the upper right corner of the board.  The next, obvious difference is the large cooling solution.  The heatsink / fan combo used on the G9600 Pro is similar to the one found on Tyan's G9700 Pro. This cooler covers the GPU and spreads over all of the RAM modules mounted on the front of the board, and wraps around to the back.  When we removed the cooler to take a look at the RAM modules used on the Tachyon G9600 Pro, we found the some very interesting things.

     

There were small rubber-like, sponges saturated with a thermally conductive substance used as the thermal interface material between the RAM and heatsink.  One of these pads was also mounted to the back of the GPU.  The RAM used on this board was the biggest surprise, however.  Tyan chose Hynix HY5DU283222 F-36 (310a) BGA modules for the Tachyon G9600 Pro, as opposed to the Samsung K4D26323RA-GC2A chips we've seen on all of the other 9600 Pro's we have reviewed.  By default, the memory on the G9600 Pro is clocked at 300MHz, but according to Hynix's specifications, 275MHz is the recommended clock speed for these modules.  Even though the memory used on the G9600 Pro is technically overclocked out of the box, it should be completely stable in most circumstances (our card never crashed), but there may be little room for overclocking.  More on this later...

Screenshots with Antialiasing & Aniso Enabled
Make It So!

     
1024x768 - 4X AA - 16X ANISO

We spent some quality time gaming with the Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro before running our suite of benchmarks.  The screen shots posted above are from the latest game based in the Star Trek Universe, Elite Force II.  We set our resolution to 1024x768 and enabled 4X Anti-Aliasing with 16X Anisotropic filtering and enjoyed some single and multi-player action.  For the most part, frame rates in Elite Force II remained fluid and playable throughout our entire gaming session.  There were, however, some occasional hiccups when the action got heavy during a busy multi-player match.  We also played some Hulk and Enter the Matrix with Tachyon G9600 Pro using the same settings.  These games were also perfectly playable, but just aren't quite as fun as Elite Force II!  It should keep me satiated until Half Life 2 and Max Payne 2 ship!

Screenshots: Antialiasing Comparison
Jaggies!  Be Gone!

 


1024x768
NO AA

1024x768
4X AA

1024x768
6X AA

As video cards have gotten faster and faster, image quality has become much more of a deciding factor when contemplating a purchase.  Two cards may produce similar benchmark results, but if one renders superior, more accurate images, it is clearly the better choice.  We've done a number of side-by-side image quality comparisons in the past, so we won't be going in-depth again here, but we do want to give you an assortment of images to look over.  Above, we have some screen shots from the exact same frame of 3DMark03's "Wings of Fury" demo that clearly demonstrate the benefits of the Radeon 9600 Pro's Anti-Aliasing technique.  Pay special attention to the edges of the wings and the windows in the cockpit.  The difference is obvious...

It's time for Some Benchmarks!

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