9700 Arrived - here's my impressions

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
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I ordered this from a www.pricewatch.com retailer. I picked a reall inexpensive one. Shipping and all came to about $340.

Turns out that the OEM version of the 9700 Pro is NOT made by ATI. Mine is made by Sapphire. The card is clocked identical to the ATI 9700 Pro (325/310?) and comes with every cable you need including the DVI-VGA adapter. No complaintes about it being non-ATI.

There are no drivers available yet on the ATI website so I used the drivers from the CD. The install was smooth, no problems. Having and extra power hookup is wierd though.

The card performs as promised.
Framerates are fast enough for competition (>125 and never dip below 60-80) at 1600x1200x32 with 16x Anisotropic filtering and every in-game setting cranked up. The 2D and 3D both look crisp. Colors are good. I haven't had in compatibility problems at all. I can say with certainty the following games run fine:
Quake III Arena
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Serious Sam: The second Encounter
Tribes 2 (update: minor issues - see my next post)
Ultimate Ride (wee!)
BF1942 MP Demo (update: MAJOR issues - see my next post)
3D Mark

I've run Q3A at 1600x1200x32 w/ 16xAF and 4xAA and it is good :) At that res the 4xAA doesn't really help much so I'll probably leave it off. Man, does quake look good at those settings...even as old as that engine is it's still beautiful.

Things not tested that I'll try and get back with you on:
MechWarrior 4.
MechCommander 2. (update: tested fine at 1600x1200)
Midtown Madness 2.
EA Sports F1 (2001? season)
MS Combat Flight Sim
Crimson Skies
Empire Earth (update: tested fine at 1600x1200)
Warcraft III
Diablo II
Dungeon Seige
+about 10 more I can't remember (not at home right now)

Gripes:
This may be my fault. I found some remnant nvidia crap in the registry and I haven't tested again since I got it out. This may clear up but, Truform doesn't appear to be working. Both SS:SE and RTCW act as if I have a card without Truform support. Also refresh rates default to 60 in 3D games. In the games where I know how to change this (Q3A for instance) I can set it to whatever I want with no problems. Generally though I'm stuck at 60. Since the nVidia refresh rate fix tool doesn't work with the latest detonators this isn't really a big loss when switching to ATI from nVidia. I'm sure it will be worked out.

The performance jump from a GF3 Ti500 is staggering. You can simply set your res at 1600x1200 turn on 16xAF and go. Doesn't matter what game. I'm running all of this on a 1.33Ghz Athlon. I'll let you know how it scales when the XP 2400's come out next month.

It looks like the 9700 is a good launch. Nice work ATI. :D



 

CurtCold

Golden Member
Aug 15, 2002
1,547
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Thanks for the good news....looking forward to the updates. Finally not someone bitcn' about the sweetest card out now..
 

Mootorks

Member
Jan 2, 2002
25
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Smilin,

I received my card yesterday too, and it too works like a charm.

Just wanted to let you know that both the gripes you posted about are known issues. Truform will be enabled officially in the next round of drivers. Of course, if you want it now you can download the betas and manually enable truform in the registry. The refresh rate problem is also a known issue, although not entirely their fault. Apparently for D3D the refresh rate problem is fixed with the latest XP service pack (available monday). As for OpenGl, expect it to be fixed with the catalyst 2.3 drivers.

-Mootorks
 

GrimReefer

Banned
Nov 11, 2000
555
0
0
Just got my Sapphire card in today too... amazing piece of hardware. Never been more stoked about a component before. The thing truly does perform as promised. I hit 13.5 thousand 3dmarks with 6xAA16xAF turned on! Medal of Honor is truly amazing with this thing. I highly recommend this thing.
 

DARRIN

Platinum Member
Feb 25, 2000
2,756
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Glad to hear the good news guys. Keep us up to date with your progress.
 

Thraxen

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2001
4,683
1
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Just to spread some more good news...I just built a new PC using the ASUS P4S8X (BIOS Rev 1003a) and the Radeon 9700 (Sapphire) and it is up and running in AGP 8X mode with no problems!!
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
7,357
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FURTHER INFO *PLEASE READ*

I've now run Mechcommander 2 and Empire Earth. No problems, they run fine at 1600x1200

Some bad news:

Tribes 2 DOES have some issues. The weapon and ocassionally player skins do not display right. It appears to draw the pseudo-shiny texture layer, but not the actuall skin texture. This is a bit odd for certain. It does not crash the game or really detract from gameplay other than the wierdness draws your attention from the action sometimes.

BF1942 - I'm in the same boat as everyone else now. I'm not sure what I changed to start the problems but I can't see any text in the menus. I can still play on a server via gamespy but since I can't navigate menus, I can't play in any video mode other than the default.

A really annoying thing:
I use MSN messenger (XP forced it on me and I didn't feel like resisting the redmond borg so here I am). When I'm in Quake III playing and someone sends me an instant message it get's bad ugly real fast. Previously with my Ti500 incoming messages tended to flicker a bit down in the notification area and then go away. It was difficult to read the messages but no big deal. Now with the 9700 when a message comes in the message is readable but the whole frickin screen flickers in and out in various places. It's like the Z-buffer is getting all whacked out. Floors and walls flicker in and out of visibility. The game doesn't crash or become completely unplayable but if you are in intense competition it will get you killed. The problem goes away the moment the message disappears (about 5 secs).

Still no truform. Still no mention of the 9700 as far as drivers or support on ATI's website (but you can buy one :).

I'll probably give Warcraft III the test next since I finally got my cd out of my old drive (the paperclip hole wasn't working hehe that's a first). If there are any other requests as far as testing goes, let me know. I don't have every game out there but enough that I might have what you are looking for.
 

Moishe

Member
Feb 27, 2002
108
2
81
Never heard it called "the paperclip hole", but I know exactly what you're talking about...

Funny on the messenger thing. For me (yahoo msgr) it pops everything behind the game and never bothers me 9which I like) that way I can heard the notification of a msg but not "see" it. I have a choice to tab out of the game if I want.

cool that it's working though.
Amazing to heard about AGP8x working too...
 

scottrico

Senior member
Jun 23, 2001
473
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0
The leaked drivers solves the BF1942 text problem.

I have been running this card for almost a week and it does have driver issues.

but the next driver set from ati will not have all the game fixes included. Ati says that they did not have time to include them because of Q A testing and will include them in the drivers following them.

So be prepared to wait awhile for the official fix.
Hopefully they will release new beta drivers soon.

The card makes my games look better than any card I have ever seen, when they work!;)
 

Mootorks

Member
Jan 2, 2002
25
0
0
Smilin,

If you download the leaked beta drivers, which you can find at driverheaven, you can enable Truform manually via the registry. Otherwise you can just wait till the next official release.

Furthemore, if you have the ASUS P4S8X go download the latest beta bios 1004.002. You can download it here:

ftp://ftp.asus.com.tw/pub/ASUS/mb/sock478/p4s8x/1004-002.zip

I downloaded and installed it last night and its made quite difference with the stability of my system. Case in point, before the new bios, I couldn't even get Warcraft III to load past the introduction movie. Now it runs fine with all settings maxed out.

Even with the driver issues, this card is bar none the best video card I've ever owned. I haven't seen this much of a video performance increase since my Canopus Pure3D II (Thats voodoo 2 for you youngins).

-Mootorks
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
7,357
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Does driver heaven have the registry hack that needs done for Truform? I'm thinking since this is officially Truform 2.0 there's some key that needs changed to make it look like the old truform.

Mootorks wasn't that Canopus the card that had SLI built in on a single card? Voodoo II SLI was the Shiznit back in the day.

Even with the issues I've seen I'm still quite happy with this card. My buddy was over for a LAN party this weekend with a Ti4600. He bought it like 3 weeks ago...yeah, yeah I told him to wait but did he listen??? Noooo. He's hating it now. The 9700 definately kicks it's ass. I've seen em side by side.

This is what I'm thinking is going to happen, first a few facts:
1. The R300 is getting great yields at it's current speed. People are reporting very successfull overclocking.
2. The NV30 IS going to kick it's ass in a few months.

So here's how it's going to play out (speculation):
1. nVidia releases the NV30.
2. ATI will respond by releasing a higher clocked version of the R300 and/or a .13 micron version.
3. nVidia will respond to this in the spring with an overclocked version of the NV30.
4. DOOM Gets release
5. I buy yet another video card (ATI or nVidia..whoever is the winner)

I figure I have a few months left with the fastest gaming card on the planet, then I lose the crown until Doom hit's shelves.
 

Moishe

Member
Feb 27, 2002
108
2
81
Geeez send me some of that dough you have! lol buying 2 bleeding edge vid cards within a years time? holy schikees~!
 

Cuular

Senior member
Aug 2, 2001
804
18
81
I received my 9700 on friday evening. I immediately installed it after uninstalling my GF4 ti4600. The first time I fired up the main game I play at 1600X1200 it locked about 10 seconds in. I play DAoC a lot. After that I did a manual clean up of the registery and disk, getting rid of any old video card stuff, including the radeon8500 I had before the GF4.

After that it has been absolutley stunning with no lockups in DAoC.

I tested it on QuakeIII arena, UnReal Tourney, WC3, and AC2 Beta. Everything except AC2 Beta were rock solid.

AC2 Beta the first 2 times I tried to log in after installing this card worked for about 3 seconds before a hard lockup. I gave that up until Sunday evening. I OC'd the 9700, set it for 1280X1024 Very High Detail, and played for about 5 hours straight with no graphics problems. Just the "lag of death" that MS knows about and is working on fixing.

All in all it was the second best video card upgrade I have had. My hat is off to ATI for the fine product.

My current system consists of the following:
AMD 1800+ OC'd to 2177+
ATI 9700Pro OC'd to 360/640
ASUS NFORCE-420 Mobo
512MB ddr333 cas 2 (corsair)
3 18GB scsi drives 2 maxtor Artlas's one 10K 2, one 10k3(Both 8MB cache). One IBM server drive with 16MB cache.
Adaptec 39160 controller.
Sony 48X CDR
Using the plantronics DSP500 headset. Has it's own 32bit soundcard built into the USB cable.
I spend way to much time playing online games, and having Roger Wilco is a MUST.
 

GoodRevrnd

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
6,803
581
126
It'll be good once they get BF1942 fixed -- that game could definitely use the full extent of 9700's AA power.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
17,552
691
126
Originally posted by: GoodRevrnd
It'll be good once they get BF1942 fixed -- that game could definitely use the full extent of 9700's AA power.
Go back a few posts until you reach to scottrico's post.:)
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,070
1,241
126
Well I installed mine last night and boy was I blown away. This card is everything I thought it would be and much more. In particular I've never seen anisotropic filtering looking that good before - at the 128 tap setting everything is razor sharp as far as the eye can see, in all directions and at all angles.

To best describe the speed take a GF4 Ti4600 at 1600 x 1200 with no anisotropic filtering, enable 128 tap anisotropic on the Radeon 9700 and then add 20%-50% to the performance of the Ti4600. I'm almost hitting 200 FPS average in Quake3's demo four at those settings and I think I'm still CPU limited. :Q

I have a few minor problems with a few games but most of them are working great. For the first cut of drivers for such an amazing product they work exceptionally well and I give ATi a solid pat on the back for this.

Every game is like butter at 1600 x 1200 with 128 tap anisotropic filtering, including SOF2 which hovers around 55-80 FPS at all times and RTCW which stays above an amazing 70 FPS in most cases. Also Warcraft III looks absolutely stunning with very rich and vibrant colours and it's absolutely liquid smooth when scrolling through terrain and units.

I'll try to put up a full review in the weekened including full benchmarks and a compatibility list.
 

ZenFoe

Junior Member
Jan 15, 2002
20
0
0
Well, just wanted to point out that OEM radeon is NEVER going to be made by ATI. It's always another party.

Drivers are available for the 9700... Catalyst 2.2 available at ATI's website should support 9700.
 

Killrose

Diamond Member
Oct 26, 1999
6,230
8
81
I was hopeing to hold out as long as I could with my 8500, but it bit the dust last week, and i'm now using my 7500, and boy, do I miss my 8500!! I can't wait till the price of the 9700 drops a bit more to pick one up.
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
7,357
0
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Ok, I've officially had the card less than a week and ATI has put out a patch for the only real problem I've had with the card (being the no-text bug in BF1942).

That's not too shabby on ATI's part.

BF1942 runs great at 1600x1200 w/ 8xAF
 

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