What is A PCB
I have read some websites that said you can softmod a 9500 to a 9700np if the 9500 is on a 9700 pcb.
Could be referring to the material used to make circuit boards. That being PVC, not PBC. Poly Vinyl Chloride, the same thing many plumbing pipes are made out. Though someone once told me the circuit boards are made out of fiberglass
More to the point though, it proly means the 9500 would be on the same size and structure circuit board as the 9700. Just like there are different ATX form factor motherboards. If the 9500 board is smaller, the power sources are located in different areas, the chips are soldered on in other places, etc.... then you don't have the same PVC structure as the 9700. But if it is the same, you may be able to use unlocking software to "upgrade" it... much to ATI's dismay
It does stand for Printed Circuit Board.
The first 9500 non pro cards were made on 9700 boards (2 mem chips above the GPU and 2 beside it, thus the L shaped memory designation). That means that they have the capability of 256bit memory interface. When people started figuring this out and were modding 9500's into 9700's, ATI changed the design to the new PCB with the memory all in a row above the GPU, 128 bit memory interface('I' shaped memory).
You can still find the L shaped ones on a few sites, I've even seen one site that will specifically send you that one for a $14 premium over the 'I' shaped one. You can also get them on eBay, but I have a feeling those are ones that have failed to mod properly and people are just trying to recoup some money.
The 9500 Pro cards all have the I shaped memory, which basically means that they can't be modded in any way. I think the success rate for the soft mod (or hard mod for that matter) is under 40%. Apparently you can mod the 9500 non pro with 'I' shaped memory into a 9500 pro, which is a pretty nice upgrade, but again success is in the 30-40% range.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by spitoon on 11/11/03 11:35 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
If you read his post more carefully, you'd see he said that <b>no</b> version of the 9500's has a 256-bit VRAM bus, unless you get one with RAM on different sides of the GPU, and modify the card.
The one with "L shaped RAM" does not come 256-bit naturally, you have to modify it.
I don't think any of the 9000 series chips are good. They offer good performance and image quality, but they suffer from compatibility issues, which is why I sold my 9700 pro...