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ATI Delivers: The Radeon 9500 PRO

Summary

At a selling price expected to be around $199 US, there is no doubt that the Radeon 9500 PRO is an attractive product, although it can't come close to delivering the performance of the Radeon 9700. Under normal circumstances it is slower than a GeForce 4 Ti 4600. However, it is an ideal card for anyone looking for good performance with anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing.

It certainly provides stiff competition for the NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti 4200-8x, which is already well established in this price category (street price between $170 and $200). If you are looking for good performance at a reasonable price, the Radeon 9500 PRO should be your first choice.

Be wary of the Radeon 9500 (without PRO). Although no samples of this card have been available for testing, we would expect the pixel pipeline restriction to adversely affect its performance. Look into this carefully if you are considering buying.

The poor showing of the Radeon 9500 PRO in the 3D Mark 2001 SE single texturing fill rate benchmarks is curious. Some more research is needed to find out exactly what the problem is here.

Expect to see Radeon 9500 cards from the following manufacturers:

  • Connect 3D
  • CP Technologies
  • FIC
  • Gigabyte
  • Hercules
  • Hightech
  • Sapphire
  • Wistron
  • Yuan