The difference is that they use completly different chips! Did you compare the cards by simply looking at the backpanel? The 9700Pro is over twice as fast as the 9000. And even though they´re almost the same cards, the 8500 can be considerd a better buy then the 9000.
Trust me. The difference between these two cards is huge. Get a Radeon 9700Pro, very future proof.
Read this: <A HREF="http://www17.tomshardware.com/graphic/02q3/020819/index.html" target="_new">http://www17.tomshardware.com/graphic/02q3/020819/index.html</A>
<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>