VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003


PowerColor is the graphics division of a Taiwanese company called CP Technology. Their product line consists of ATi 3D graphics boards as well as multimedia add-in cards.

Support is limited to an FAQ section and a driver download page on the company's homepage. Apparently, there is no way to contact the company directly in the case of technical problems.

PowerColor Radeon 9800 PRO

The PowerColor Radeon 9800 PRO is designed around ATi's R350 chip, making it a representative of the high-end class of cards. The card that was sent to us for testing is equipped with a memory module from Hynix, which is specified for a maximum speed of 900 MHz DDR! The card is clocked to 398 MHz core and 756 MHz memory clock (reference: 380/680). But be warned: other tests of the card in the Internet show that PowerColor also equips the card with slower memory modules, and the card does not clock any higher. So look carefully before you buy.

The R350 chip is cooled by a quiet, silver colored heatsink/ fan combination, while the memory chips (Hynix code 22 = 450 MHz max) don't receive special cooling. Two cables ship with the card for use with the TV-out feature (1.70 m S-VHS; 1.75 m composite video). The lack of a TV-in function is partly offset by the DVI connector, which can output resolutions up to 1600x1200.