VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003

Gigabyte Radeon 9800 PRO 256 MB (GV-R98P256D), Continued

The rich game bundle consists of the slightly outdated games "Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2" (August 02), "Need For Speed - High Stakes" (March 99), "Motocross Mania" (2000), "Serious Sam The First Encounter" (March 01) and 'lite' versions of the games "4x4 Evo" and "Oni." With the card comes Cyberlink's PowerDVD XP 4.0 for DVD playing.

In addition to card drivers and ATi 3D demos, the installation CD also includes Gigabyte's own V-Tuner software that you can use, for example, to adjust the chip and memory clock speeds. However, the CD version does not run with ATi's current CATALYST driver, so you have to download the latest version from the Gigabyte homepage. The program can be launched from an icon in the task bar.

The 32-page manual provides decent support for the installation of the card, but causes a bit of confusion because of the outdated ATi driver menus it depicts.

Conclusion: The expanded 256 MB memory does not offer any benefits worth mentioning. However, if you have to have 256 MB memory, there is no reason why you should not use it.

+ DVD Player software
+ TV-in
+ Video cable for Composite & S-VHS
+ Rich game bundle, quiet fan & passive memory heat sink
+ DVI display up to 1600x1200

- Card gets very hot when in use
- No appreciable benefits for current games from 256 MB memory
- Extremely outdated game bundle

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Gigabyte Radeon 9800 PRO 256 MB (GV-R98P256D)
3D ChipATI Radeon 9800 PRO
Memory256 MB DDR (256bit), Samsung BGA
Memory SpecsMax. Clock Rate: 700 MHz (DDR)
Clock Rate (Chip/Memory)380 / 700 MHz
Hardware FeaturesVideo-OutDVI UXGA
Fan Noise47.5
SoftwareGigabyte V-Tuner (OC)PowerDVD XP 4.0Heavy Metal F.A.K.K 2Need For Speed High StakesMotocross ManiaSerious Sam First EncounterDemos