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Review: Crucial Radeon 9700 Pro

by Tarinder Sandhu on 26 October 2002, 00:00

Tags: Crucial Radeon 9700 PRO, Crucial Technology (NASDAQ:MU)

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Card and bundle

As usual, we'll have a closer look at the card before we begin our benchmarking run.

It appears as if Crucial have taken the reference design ethos to the letter. The heatsink and fan are identical to the reference R9700 that I reviewed recently. Indeed, examining both cards closely gives us little clue as to the differences, if any, between them. Still, the reference design is good; it works .... why change a winning formula ?. Once again, the low-profile cooler is required to keep around 110 million transistors cool enough for operation. That's impressive considering they're operating at 325MHz. The power-hungry Radeon 9700 Pro requires the use of an additional power connector. Once again, we see it at the top right in the form of a floppy drive connection.

Similarly, the back of the Crucial Radeon 9700 Pro is nigh-on identical to the reference model I reviewed earlier, save for a Crucial sticker.

As per specification, we have 128MB of RAM in the form of 8 x 16MB modules. With speeds of in excess of 600MHz DDR, the need to change from the standard TSOP to tiny BGA memory becomes necessary. The RAM is rated at 2.8ns, evidently. We'll see just how close it gets to this specification a little later.

We see the standard VGA and DVI connections sandwiching a TV-Out module. I'd have appreciated dual DVI connections, as I've just started using a TFT screen. We can still use dual CRT screens via the use of a bundled DVI-to-VGA connector.

Speaking of the bundle, the above picture highlights what we receive. A driver and installation CD with the 6166 drivers, manual, and other utilities, a DVI-to-VGA dongle, a composite cable, an S-Video cable, and a little DVI dongle. No games were provided, but all the necessary components to get you up and going were. A handy quickstart guide was included, too. The necessary floppy-style power lead will be present in all shipping versions, although it wasn't provided with this review sample.