The Video Board
As you look at the video board itself, one of the first things that strikes you is the bright red coloring of the PCB. Several card makers have gone to colored boards and most users have found this to be a nice addition, especially with the wide propagation of windowed enclosures.
The backside of the board is pretty standard fare with the only notable finding being the lack of any sort of passive cooling on the memory modules. There is none to be found on any of the eight memory modules, so you might have fun later on getting some more power by adding some appropriate cooling. Having this added from the factory would have been a nice touch, but considering the relative low cost of the board, it can be forgiven.
You might have noticed the addition of an extra power cable in the pictures above. The Radeon 9500 Pro requires you to hook this added Molex into a standard 4-pin connector to run. This added power is needed to keep the memory going at full strength, so make sure to get it hooked up when you install the board.
The manual suggests that you hook it up to the Molex that goes to the hard drive and then use the pigtail to keep the hard drive powered too, but I normally prefer to give it a lead to itself. After all, most of the quality power supplies available right now have plenty of connectors coming from it, so why not make use of them?
The heatsink that covers the VPU is an orb-style unit that manages to do the job of keeping it cool. It also manages to keep the volume at a very acceptable level for those who are prone to fits of rage when their systems make too much noise.
The Sapphire Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro offers all of the normal ports that you would expect to see on a quality video board. You'll find the standard 15-pin monitor connector, an S-Video port and a digital port for those that already use an LCD monitor. There should be no problems in hooking up to just about any display device you may have.
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