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Product : Radeon 9800XT/TVD
Company : ASUS
Author : Kombatant
Editor : Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Date : January 16th, 2004

Specifications & Features

ASUS Radeon 9800XT
ASUS Radeon 9800XT
After opening the plastic holder and getting the card out, two things stand out. The first one is its colour: I don't remember seeing an orange card before; whether the colour is welcomed or not is a matter of personal preference and I won't get into that. The other thing that stands out is its cooling system which looks impressive and adds weight to the card (it is noticeably heavier than my 9700 Pro).

The back of the card is covered by a fairly large heat spreader which covers more than 50% of the card. The card installed very easily in my motherboard, with no problem whatsoever and since it is a single-slot solution it won't trouble you if you have too many PCI cards and you absolutely need every single last one of them. Just a word of caution: be careful not to apply too much force when you plug in the power connector, as the 4-pin molex connector featured in the top right of the card is plastic and could detach from the card if much force is used.

Rage Theater
Rage Theater
What sets this card apart from the others is that Asus included a Rage Theater chip in its design to provide Video-In/Video-Out (VIVO) functionality, similar to ATI's earlier All-In-Wonder line (newer All-In-Wonder cards use the next generation Theater200 chip). The card comes with a break-out box with Composite and S-Video inputs and outputs which allows you to capture video from an external source or output your favourite movies and games to a TV. We were rather pleased with the VIVO connector, as its cable is fairly large - a welcoming change from the short connectors we have seen bundled in other cards.

The Asus card does not support Overdrive, but the bundled utility SmartDoctor more than makes up for that. It's a very good monitoring utility that allows you to check out things like Vcc, Vcore, AGP VDD and frontside bus VDD. The second tab shows GPU and RAM temperatures and in the third tab we can see the card's fan rpms. Under that you can either choose to manually overclock the card (SmartDoctor allows up to 440 core / 770 mem) or if you go to the setup tabs you can enable a function which allows you to set the RPM of the fans according to the VPU temperature. Also featured is an alarm system if temperature goes higher than normal. The card is powered of course by the mighty ATI Radeon 9800XT chip, the current king of the hill in the 3D graphics market.

  9800XT 9700 Pro
Manufacturing Process .15µ .15µ
Transistor Count(millions) 110 110
Core Speed(MHz) 412 325
Memory Speed(MHz) 365 310
Memory Interface 256bit 256bit
Rendering Pipelines 8 8
TMUs Per Pipeline 1 1
Peak Memory Bandwidth(GB/s) 23.3 19.8
Pixel Fillrate(million pixels/sec) 3,296 2,600
Texel Fillrate(million texels/sec) 3,296 2,600
DX9 Pixel Shader Version 2.0 2.0
Vertex Shaders(version) 4 (2.0) 4 (2.0)


  • Eight parallel rendering pipelines
  • Four parallel geometry engines
  • 256-bit DDR memory interface
  • AGP 8X support
  • Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
  • 2.0 Vertex Shaders support vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
  • 2.0 Pixel Shaders support up to 16 textures per rendering pass
  • New F-buffer technology supports pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
  • 128-bit, 64-bit & 32-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
  • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes
  • Adaptive algorithm with programmable sample patterns
  • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes
  • Adaptive algorithm with bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options
  • 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
  • Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 24:1)
  • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
  • Z cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
  • TRUFORM™ 2.0
  • 2nd generation N-Patch higher order surface support
  • Discrete and continuous tessellation levels per polygon
  • Displacement mapping
  • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video
  • FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology
  • 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 400 MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant and HDCP ready)
  • Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
  • Windows® Logo Program compliant
*with optional HDTV adapter available from ATI Online Store

ASUS Radeon 9800XT Front
ASUS Radeon 9800XT Front
ASUS Radeon 9800XT Back
ASUS Radeon 9800XT Back

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