Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro

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The Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro - Page 5

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

By - Marco Chiappetta
August 6, 2003

For our last set of benchmarks, we used Croteam's Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.  We configured the game to use OpenGL (this is one of the few games that can use either DirectX or OpenGL) and ran a series of tests using the built-in "Little Trouble" demo.   To ensure the playing field was level, we used Beyond3D's "Extreme Quality" script which maxes out the texture and filtering quality with all of the cards being tested.

Head-to-Head / Performance With Serious Sam: TSE
Sam is a Little High Strung...

In Serious Sam, the Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro narrowly surpassed the ATi built Radeon 9600 Pro in all of the tests run at 1024x768.  At 1600x1200, however, the ATi built card took the lead, again by a minimal, basically meaningless margin.  For all intents and purposes, the two Radeon 9600 Pros we tested here performed at identical levels.

Overclocking With The Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro
Speed is What We Need!

When we pulled this card apart and found the 3.6ns Hynix RAM populating the board, we were interested to see just how high the memory on the Tachyon G9600 Pro would overclock.  All of the other 9600 Pros we've looked at thus far were equipped with 2.8ns Samsung modules that overclocked well beyond their stock clock speeds.  Needless to say, based on our experience with other 9600 Pros and Tyan's own Tachyon G9700 and G9500 Pros, we were expecting the G9600 Pro to at least match the overclockability of these other cards.  Unfortunately, we were let down.

We used the Tyan Graphics Monitor to overclock the G9600 Pro until visual artifacts became visible during the benchmarks.  The maximum core and memory clock speeds we were able to attain were 515MHz and 313MHz, respectively.  The G9600's core overclocked very well, surpassing its default clock speed by an impressive 115MHz, but the memory would only overclock by a picayune 13MHz.  It appears that the Hynix memory used on this card simply does not have enough headroom for significant overclocking.

We're not quite sure what to make of the Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro.  It is definitely a great card, with an excellent feature set.  On one hand, the G9600 Pro is currently the only Radeon 9600 Pro with hardware monitoring capabilities, it has a great cooling setup with a variable speed fan, and it will be available in a dual-DVI configuration, something that should please anyone looking to use multiple digital LCD flat panels.  On the other hand, many enthusiasts have been attracted to the Radeon 9600 Pro because of its overclockability, which unfortunately happens to be the main area where this board is lacking.  However, we can't ding this card too severely because it wouldn't run as far out of spec as we would have liked.  In the end, if you plan to buy a Radeon 9600 Pro and won't be overclocking, this is the card for you.  The feature set and cooling solution are superior than any of the other 9600 Pros we've looked at to date.  And with its tweaked layout and superior features, the G9600 Pro is still selling at a similar price point to other Radeon 9600 Pros ($180 vs. $165).  Be that as it may, hardcore overclockers should probably shop around.  Based on its great features and competitive price, we're giving the Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro a HotHardware Heat Meter rating of 7.5.

(Update 8 / 7 / 2003 - Rumor has it, the Dual-DVI Version of this card may not ship.  We sent an e-mail to Tyan asking if this was true.  We'll update this space when we get an answer.)

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Tags:  Tachyon, pro, AC

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