Gigabyte & Tyan Radeon 9700s
They Weren't Fast Enough!
Of course, we
can never leave well enough alone, so we set out to find
just how high we could overclock the Maya II and Tachyon
G9700. We used the latest version of Powerstrip to
raise the core and memory clock speeds until our test system
could no longer reliably complete any benchmarks. We
wanted to clearly demonstrate the performance differences we
saw when the cards were overclocked, so we re-ran the
3DMark2001 and Quake 3 benchmarks, with 6XAA
experience with both of these cards was pretty good.
By default, the Tachyon G9700 Pro and Maya II ship with
325MHz and 310MHz (620MHz DDR) core and memory clock speeds.
We were able to take the Gigabyte Maya II R9700 Pro all the
way up to a 387MHz core clock, with a 348MHz (696MHz DDR)
memory clock, and the system remained completely stable.
The Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro had a bit more headroom.
With the Tachyon, we hit a 394MHz core speed, with a 352MHz
(704MHz DDR) memory clock. We could have gone even
higher with both cards, but the visual anomalies were just
too prevalent for us to call the cards "stable".
Overclocking yielded about a 15% increase in performance on
Maya II, and an approximate 17% increase with the Tachyon
We spent quite a
bit of time with both the Gigabyte Maya II R9700 Pro and the
Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro, and only one thing is abundantly
clear. The Radeon 9700 Pro is a killer product, and
should be on every gamer's wish list. But which one
would we choose? Well, picking a "winner" between
these two cards was an extremely tough choice, but in the
end, we'd have to give the nod the Tyan Tachyon G9700
GIGABYTE MAYA II
Maya II R9700 Pro had by far the better bundle, and is less
expensive than the Tachyon, coming in at $343 US. The
Maya II performed very well throughout our entire
benchmarking suite and it was a good overclocker. The
cooling solution wasn't terribly loud and seemed to do its
job well, but we would have liked to have seen heat sinks
mounted on all of the BGA memory chips, not just the ones
situated on the front of the card. Overall, we have
absolutely no problem recommending the Gigabyte Maya II
R9700 Pro to anyone looking for a high-end gaming card.
In fact, if price is your most important consideration, the
Maya II is the clear choice and you'd end up with four full
games added your collection. Based on its relatively
"low" price, excellent bundle, stability and performance
we're giving the Gigabyte Maya II R9700 a HotHardware Heat
Meter rating of 8.5..
After inspecting, and benchmarking the Tyan Tachyon G9700
Pro, we were very impressed and are happy that Tyan, long
known for their quality motherboards, has entered the
graphics card market. Although it is more expensive
than the Maya II, $377 US on Pricewatch.Com as of today, the
increased cost is justified. Currently, the Tachyon
G9700 Pro, is the only RADEON 9700 Pro we have seen with
hardware monitoring capabilities. It also has one of
the most impressive cooling solutions on the market,
reminiscent of what Leadtek has done with some of their
recent high-end cards. At default clock speeds, it
squeaked by the Maya II in the majority of our tests and it
was also the better overclocker. Until someone comes
along to change our mind, the Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro is
"THE" Radeon 9700 to own. Based in its feature set,
performance, cooling solution and "overclockability", we're
giving the Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro a
on the HotHardware Heat Meter and the coveted Editor's
get some in the HotHardware PC Hardware Forum, now!