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Tyan Tachyon 9500 Pro Video Card Review - Features

Tyan are a company who has been known mostly for their impressive server / workstation products. Recently they've taken notice of the growing overclocking market and decided to switch their focus slightly with the introduction of their Tyan Tachyon series of video cards. Follow Cameron "Sov" Johnson as he takes a look at the Tyan Tachyon 9500 Pro video card based on ATI's Radeon 9500 Pro VPU. How does it stack up against the best on the market? Read on and find out!

| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: May 8, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Tyan

Features of the Tyan Tachyon 9500 Pro

 

Package, Contents and The Card

 

 

Tyan use a rather compact box for the 9500 Pro, which suggests the product is more focused towards the budget, without too many bells and whistles. One noteworthy feature is that Tyan prints the core and memory speed on the front of the box, so you know how fast you card is running before you buy it.

 

The card comes with the standard DVI, VGA, and TV-Out connectors. There is a Tachyon Graphics Monitor manual included as well as a Tachyon Graphics Line quick installation guide. They even have a complete user's guide. The CD includes Catalyst Driver version 3.1 and control panel along with DirectX 8.1b. WinDVD 4.0 is also included on the CD. A power cable is also provided if you need to split power off from a device for this card.

 

Between the heatsink and the connector panel you will find two micro dip switches. One controls the TV output signal, on gives you NTSC output and off gives PAL TV output. The other dipswitch is a mystery to us to this day.

 

VPU, Cut down 9700

 

 

Using the Radeon 9500 Pro VPU (Virtual Processing Unit) the Tachyon 9500 Pro is basically a cut done 9700. First off the memory bus has been reduced from 256bit to 128bit. Next the Pixel engine has been reduced from 8 to 4. This is the only difference between the two.

 

From the picture above you can see that the heatsink used on the Tachyon is rather different than that used by ATI and many other ATI producers. This design is a three way system separating the main core HSF unit from the two separate RAM sinks which is a very welcome design compared to most in the industry. While looking smaller in design the most heatsinks it does a better job of keeping the VPU cool under stock and overclocked speeds.

 

Memory, 128MB monster

 

 

Tyan, unlike most 9500 and 9500 Pro manufacturers, adds ramskinks to their video card. Gigabyte, Sapphire, Leadtek and even ATI themselves simply leave the ram bare; this is because at stock speeds the ram doesn't heat up much, Tyan has prepared for the overclockers. Both sides are populated with four modules of Hynix 3.6ns TinyBGA memory chips with heatsinks plugged to both sides. This is a great feature as it allows better overclocking of the memory than any other 9500 Pro cards on the market.

 

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

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