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Product : Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro
Company : Sapphire
Author : Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Date : February 3rd, 2003

Technical Specs

Technically, the 9500 Atlantis Pro is the same as any other 9500 Pro card. It has the same default core and memory speeds as the reference 9500 Pro - 275 core/270 mem - and uses the same 128-bit memory bus as other 9500 Pros. It uses the same ATI reference design most other companies use as well. There's nothing wrong with following the reference design of course, but it would be refreshing to see more companies trying to tweak the layout for better performance or efficiency.

The 9500 Pro card layout has been altered significantly over the 9700 Pro however. The most notable of changes is the BGA ram which has been relocated along the top edge of the card. The external power connector has also been moved back along the edge toward the middle of the card. The only problem with this new layout is that the power connector now gets in the way of one of the chips if you want to add some ramsinks to the card. You can possibly mod the power connector by cutting away some of the plastic and bending the connector up and away from the ram chip, but that would likely void your warranty... then again, adding ramsinks probably would too. Also, and not so noticeable, is the fact that the 9500 Pro uses only a 6-layer PCB as opposed to the 9700 Pros 8-layer PCB. The result is a much easier (read: cheaper) to produce card. They were able to move to a 6-layer PCB because of the 9500 Pro's less complex 128bit memory bus. Below are two comparison photos of the Sapphire Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro and an ATI Radeon 9700 Pro:

9500 Atlantis Pro Layout
9500 Atlantis Pro Layout
Radeon 9700 Pro Layout
Radeon 9700 Pro Layout

And here is a table containing technical specs of the 9500 Atlantis Pro, with comparisons to other graphics cards around the industry:

  Sapphire 9500
Atlantis Pro
Sapphire 9700
Atlantis Pro
nVidia GeForce4 Ti4200 nVidia GeForce4 Ti4600 Matrox
Manufacturing Process .15µ .15µ .15µ .15µ .15µ
Transistor Count
110 110 63 63 80
Core Speed 275MHz 325MHz 250MHz 300MHz 220MHz
Memory Speed 270MHz
Memory Interface 128bit 256bit 128bit 128bit 256bit
Max Memory 256MB 256MB 128MB 128MB 256MB
Rendering Pipelines 8 8 4 4 4
TMUs per Pipe 1 1 2 2 4
Peak Bandwidth 8.6 GB/s 19.8 GB/s 8.2 GB/s 10.4 GB/s 17.6 GB/s
Pixel Fillrate
(million pixels/sec)
2,200 2,600 1,000 1,200 880
Texel Fillrate
(million texels/sec)
2,200 2,600 2,000 2,400 3,520
Pixel-Shader version 2.0 2.0 1.3 1.3 1.3
4 (2.0) 4 (2.0) 2 (1.1) 2 (1.1) 4 (2.0)

R300 Core
R300 Core
Hynix 3.6ns BGA DDR Ram
Hynix 3.6ns BGA DDR Ram

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