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Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro "Ultimate Edition" Review

By: Mike Wright | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 29, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Sapphire

In The Box



Once you open the box you are greeted with several components that have become commonplace with the Sapphire line of video boards. You get a workable software package that doesn't go overboard, a well written manual, the board itself and all the cabling necessary to make things work with your choice of output device.



As I said above, the software package is workable but doesn't contain so much that it takes the overall price through the roof. Besides the obligatory driver disk you will receive a couple of full version games consisting of Soldier of Fortune; Double Helix II and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. While not the newest of games to hit the market, both are still highly playable and also show off the capabilities of the video board.


Also included is PowerDVD XP which gives you the ability to play DVD movies and most other movie files. It is one of the better DVD playback utilities and is also the full version, not some toned down demo version which removes surround sound support.


Finally, you will receive a disk with a program called Redline. This is an overclocking and tweaking utility that can be used in conjunction with your new Sapphire board. While I generally prefer to use PowerStrip, a lot of folks are turned off by the $29.95 fee required after the 30 day demo period. Redline gives you a user-friendly interface that allows you to take advantage of the overclocking abilities of the board. And since it comes with the retail package, it doesn't have any additional costs required after you install it.



The included cables give you the ability to make use of nearly any type of video output device you might crave. While the use of a monitor or Digital LCD are handled by simply hooking up the display to the appropriate port on the card, you can also use a TV or compatible display if this is what you want. The cabling is all there to handle this chore. And with the excellent dual display ability of the ATI line of video boards, you can even attach more than one display with ease.



What's that? You say that you want dual display but only have two CRT type monitors to use? No problem!


I will never grow tired of seeing this little added piece of human ingenuity. Though simple in appearance, it is an adapter that allows you to use a CRT display by means of the Digital output port on the back of the card. So if you haven't had the inclination (or the cash) to go out and purchase a digital monitor, you can still take advantage of the dual output that is supported by the board.


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