My hair has become gray, my teeth yellow from all the darn smoking and I am starting to shake badly based on all the coffee I had to drink recently in the attempts to make my 9700 work.
I´ve reformated and intalled xp several times, diagnosed with every known tool to human kind, checked for I/O´s, IRQ´s, memory handling, voltage settings, different AGP constilations, background application handlings and computer administrating management ressources.....everything to very little use, at some points my 9700 has been stable a whole night to fail stability the next day but success is my quest and I shall prevail in the end.
I envy my neighbour dearly, with a 260w PSU, some noname ram and tons of stuff attached to his PC he runs every game flawlessly on his 9700. I feel like kicking him for being such a lucky bastard.
I wish the standard developers would make a diagnostic utility which if passed would asure gaming and application compatibility on the respective computer. You would run the application which with every test in mind would supply a person with the necessary information to adapt the system to maximum and stable performance. Each and every application/game and piece of hardware would have to meet this tests requirements in order to be allowed public distribuition. If a PSU doesnt meet the tests strict voltage regulations it has to be redesigned and reviewed before seeing the hands of the consumer.
Just as an example 2 of the 5 motherboards I ve tested didnt boot with the Radeon 9700....this is outrageous and should never be allowed to happen, its only going to get worse I fear...many companies are doing their best for the money taking little consideration to the enduser.
I know some systems are working flawlessly with the 9700 but just as many have one issue or the other, some probably based on the users inexperience but just as many cases are based on incorrect specification based hardware.
Right now I feel as a sort of a beta tester, too bad I aint paid for being one.