Since receiving our Sapphire Radeon 9700 graphics card a couple of days ago during testing we have been experiencing a few strange problems - such as continuous system reboots and programs and games crashing back to Windows desktop when used on all SiS 648, VIA KT400 and P4X400 based motherboards with AGP 8X support operational which we currently have testing.
We cannot be 100% sure if this is an isolated problem however can be sure in saying we received confirmation from our contact at Epox Taiwan (who got first hand information direct from ATi) saying the problem is only occurring in AE2 stepping Radeon 9700 chips, and not the newer AE3 chips which are now shipping from the Canadian company, who say fix the problems discussed here. The problem is, the AE2 stepping chips are vast, and thus many made it into the retail market where end-users are no doubt going to suffer. It's important to note that we had no problems what-so-ever running the AE2 stepping Radeon 9700 on VIA KT333 and Intel 845E/G based motherboards operating in either AGP 2x or 4x modes.
If you have any further information to add we'd appreciate it if you add it to the following thread in our Rumors and Speculation Forum. We'll be passing the information provided onto ATi and Epox to help remedy the problem.