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Clash of the 3D Monsters - VisionTek Ti4600 vs. Gigabyte Radeon 8500

By: Cameron Johnson | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jun 22, 2002 4:00 am

Gigabyte AP128D-H Features


Package and Contents




First we take a look at the packaging that Gigabyte ships their Radeon flagship in. The box is rather standard for Gigabyte. This box design has been used since their TNT2 line of cards with only the major logo being changed. This does save a bit on costs and is rather attractive to the eye. The best part is of course the contents. Gigabyte supplies a rather generous amount of extras with their card. You get all that you see in the lower image, which we will talk a bit about them in a second.


Adapter for Dual Monitors



Gigabyte supplied a DVI to Analogue monitor converter. This is used to convert the DVI port to standard monitors. Since the card allows for dual display this is a rather handy feature. You don't have to have LDC monitor, just two ordinary monitors - Way to go Gigabyte!


TV Cabling



Gigabyte's Radeon master piece not only allows dual display on a second PC monitor, but also on a TV as well. Being the company Gigabyte are, they have included a dual end TV cable - This allows for connection into either RCA or S-Video TV or VCR sources.


The Card



Now that we have looked at the little things that make life so nice within this package, let's have a good look at the card.


Gigabyte have been known for straying away from the ATi's reference Radeon designs, and the AP128D-H is one of a kind.


The Chipset and Cooling




Powering the whole show is ATI's Radeon 8500 GPU running at a core speed of 275MHz which makes it 25Mhz slower than the Ti4600 GPU from nVidia. Cooling the GPU is a rather small heatsink solution but don't let that fool you. In testing we did a temperature test which showed the GPU ran rather cool with this heatsink, only 32 degree at full load of the GPU. Can someone say Overclock?






Giagabyte have chosen to use Hynix 3.6ns MicroBGA memory - Four modules are located on the topside of the card and another four on the backside, as you can see above. This memory runs in direct sync with the Core (275Mhz) and is DDR driven (550Mhz effective frequency) making this cards memory speed 100Mhz slower than the Ti4600.


TV Control



ATI video cards are well known for producing exceptional quality TV output. This has been attributed to the ATI Rage Theatre TV encoder system that is used. Gigabyte, not wanting to throw this away have used the same chip, thus TV output is exceptional, even for DVD playback it runs just as good, if not better than a DVD decoder card system.




Overclocking of the AP128D-H was a delight, I must say. While Gigabyte does provide V-Tuner to overclock your card, this utility doesn't allow 1MHz adjustments of the core and memory clock. We discarded this and used Radeonator - a very handy ATI Radeon optimization and overclocking program which does allow 1MHz adjustments. Using this program we were able to run the core at 310MHz and the memory at 613MHz with default cooling on the GPU and no extra cooling on the memory. This just goes to show how well BGA memory can perform.


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