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Gigabyte's Maya Radeon 9700 Pro and 9000 Look - Maya 2 Features

It is always good to have choice. Up until ATI released its Radeon 8500, many users wanting powerful computer systems were forced to look for nVidia based graphics solutions. Fortunately for us, ATI hit back hard with their Radeon 9xxx series of graphics cards which presented us with new choices and happily opened the market right up. Gigabyte were one company which went along with ATI and Cameron "Sov" Johnson takes us on a discovery of both of the latest Maya series graphics cards based on ATI's Radeon 9700 Pro and 9000 cores!

| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Nov 26, 2002 5:00 am

Features of the Maya 2 Radeon 9700 Pro

 

Packaging and Contents

 

 

First off we take a look at the boxing and contents that are supplied for the Maya 2 video card. The Maya 2 comes in a very presentable box, quite colourful and distinctive. You won't mistake this for anyone else's product.

 

Once you get it home is where you get to have a good look at what you have brought. Once you unpack the entire contents you see what you have. The entire package consists of a video card, user manual, DVI to CRT converter, TV In/out cable set and power adapter cable.

 

The Card

 

 

While packing more features and power than a regular GeForce4 Ti4600 video card, the actual size of the card is relatively small for a power monger. The card is around the same size as a GeForce4 MX460 card. This goes to show, you don't need such a huge PCB if you get the design right.

 

VPU and Cooling

 

 

The Radeon 9700 Pro VPU (not a Graphics Processing Unit but Virtual Processing Unit), is based on a Flip Chip Ball Grid Array (FC-BGA) package. Being designed around a 0.15um process, the Radeon 9700 runs quite warm and this is where good cooling comes into play. Gigabyte has elected to do away with the Radeon reference cooler and have added a gold plated heatsink that does a far better job than the reference cooler.

 

Performance RAM

 

 

The Maya 2 is equipped with 128MB of Samsung 2.2ns Tiny BGA memory modules to run over 600Mhz. This memory has been used on nVidia GeForce4 Ti4600 cards to run over 650Mhz, so overclocking should be a breeze.

 

Extra Performance requires extra Power

 

 

One disadvantage (well not a super disadvantage) of the Radeon 9700 cards is that the extra power of the Radeon VPU needs a lot of voltage, much more than the AGP rail can supply. Radeon's based on the 9700 VPU need to have a separate power connector, much like the old Voodoo 5 by 3DFX. This is why you have an extra power connector, to split off the voltage.

 

Further Reading: Read and find more Video Cards content at our Video Cards reviews, guides and articles index page.

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