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)
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:
MechCommander 2. (update: tested fine at 1600x1200)
Midtown Madness 2.
EA Sports F1 (2001? season)
MS Combat Flight Sim
Empire Earth (update: tested fine at 1600x1200)
+about 10 more I can't remember (not at home right now)
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.