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VIDEO CARDS

OCSystem's R9700 Pro Level III SE
By: SPeeD
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    2003-10-09

    Table of Contents:
  • OCSystem's R9700 Pro Level III SE
  • Installation
  • Benchmarking
  • More benchmarking and conclusion

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    OCSystem's R9700 Pro Level III SE


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    Videocards have to be one of the top items for enthusiasts when it comes to upgrades, comparing benchmarks and playing your favorite games with all the bells and whistles on. For the past several months, the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro has been at the top of the heap for hardcore gamers and overclockers alike. The card we are taking a look at today is the OCSystem's Enhanced R9700 Pro Level III SE video card. Essentially, this is the cream of the crop of R9700's that have been modified and fitted with the Zalman ZM80A-HP Silent cooler using heatpipe technology. An extremely innovative product and one that truly stands on it's own when it comes to video card cooling.

     

    Manufacturer:

       ATI Technologies Inc.
      Product:   OCSystem's Enhanced R9700 Pro Level III SE

    Price:

       USD$459

    Availability:

       NOW

    Reviewed By:

       Mack "SPeeD"

     

    Introduction

    Videocards have to be one of the top items for enthusiasts when it comes to upgrades, comparing benchmarks and playing your favorite games with all the bells and whistles on. For the past several months, the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro has been at the top of the heap for hardcore gamers and overclockers alike. The card we are taking a look at today is the OCSystem's Enhanced R9700 Pro Level III SE video card. Essentially, this is the cream of the crop of R9700's that have been modified and fitted with the Zalman ZM80A-HP Silent cooler using heatpipe technology. An extremely innovative product and one that truly stands on it's own when it comes to video card cooling.

    So what else is so special about this card you ask? This thing is an absolute BEAST with the Zalman cooler installed and the clock speeds of this card are at almost insane levels. Well above any current product shipping from ATI. From OCSystem, the card comes clocked at a whopping 415MHz Core and 730MHz Memory. If you were looking for the highest performing card available today, this would be it, plain and simple.

    Overview

    The card arrived in your standard cardboard shipping box much like an OEM card would be shipped. Included were VGA cable, S-Video cable, S-Video adaptor and DVI-Adaptor along with a driver disk for the card. Lets checkout a few pics of the card.

     

       

     

    Right away we can see this isn't your average R9700 Pro. I have seen reviews of this Zalman Silent Cooler previously, but until you've seen it in person, you really can't be sure of the monstrosity of this thing. It's extremely big and very heavy, and appears to be made of the utmost in quality parts and craftsmanship. Need to see more of this beast? Here are a few more pics to whet your appetite.

     


     

        
     

    Currently OCSystem's has both the Gold Heatsink and Special Edition Silver Chrome Heatsink which is also the model we are showing here today. From the pics above you'll notice the HSF is securely fastened to the video card and GeIL Copper premium thermal compound has been pre-applied from OCSystem in order to efficiently transfer heat from the VPU to the massive heatsinks.


    I have never personally used this stuff so I cannot comment on it's performance. But considering this is OCSystem's best video card available, I would assume this is their absolute best stuff. Specs below.

    Specification

    • 7.5W/m-k Thermal conductivity

    • 0.06 C-in2/W Thermal Resistance

    You can pickup a 1-gram tube for 9$ on OCSystem's site. Lets move on.

    Another awesome factor of this card is it's 2.8ns Samsung BGA memory. This brand is a well known overclocker and certainly living up to that today since our particular card is clocked at 371MHz or 742MHz DDR. Incredible. This is much higher than the typical stock speed of 620MHz DDR for these cards. Theoretically, the 2.8ns memory should be able to run 350MHz with no problem and it does that easily and more. As it is, we are over 23GB/Sec total bandwidth this video card with a 256bit bus path. With the card clocked at stock speeds of 310MHz/620MHz DDR, our Memory Bandwidth is about 19.8GB/sec. Below are a few comparison's with different cards to show you just how powerful the R9700 Pro truly is.

     

    • nVIdia GF4 MX440 - 6.4GB/sec

    • SiS Xabre 600 - 10.08GB/sec

    • nVidia GF4 Ti4200 - 8.0GB/sec

    • nVidia GF4 Ti4600 - 10.4GB/sec

    • nVidia GF FX 5800 Ultra - 16GB/sec

    • ATI Radeon™9700 Pro Stock - 19.8GB/sec

    • OCSystem Radeon™9700 Pro Level III SE - 23.7GB/sec

    Where ATI's Radeon9700 really excels is it's 256bit memory bus, whereas competing companies only have a 128bit memory bus. This really limits their raw bandwidth and overall performance. Even though the nVidia GF FX has 2ns DDRII running at 500MHz / 1000MHz DDR, it's 128bit bus limits it's overall throughput compared to the Radeon™9700. Anticipation for the GF FX was high until sites started to get their hands on the actual hardware, now it appears it as if the FX is only slightly (if any) better than a typical ATi Radeon™9700 Pro. Lets take a look at the memory.

     

    A quick trip to the Samnsung Graphics Data Sheet will show that this memory with the "RA" designator is indeed 2.8ns and capable of 350MHz clock @CL5. Fast you say? Why yes, I'd say it gets the job done.

    Lets head on over to page 2 to checkout some more pics and installation of this magnificent beast.

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