Pros: Has the fast bandwidth for today's needs!
Cons: Only 16.7 million colors!
The ATI X700 Pro PCIe (PCI Express) video card has the power to meet todays demands for the fast pace memory eating games. High definition and standard definition are supported to give you the best DVD movie playback on the market. Streaming video is smoother and clearer if you have broadband internet. The internet pages seem to open up faster and smoother. The colors are clear and life like in color, with digital photos looking better than ever.
The X700 series is designed only for the PCI Express slots and not the AGP slots. An 8x AGP slot has the bandwidth of 2112 MB per second in one direction, while the ATI X700 Pro PCIe 16x uses two directions, it has a bandwidth of 4000 MB per second in each direction or 8000 MB per second in both directions. So you can see where the transfer of data is much faster with the PCIe slot verses the AGP slot. Newer games and applications will start to take advantage of the new bandwidth speed for a video card, making the AGP video very slow.
The X700 series uses a .11 micron process with about 120 million transistors and 128-bit memory architecture. The X700 Pro has 256 MB of DDR memory with a GPU speed at 420 MHz.
The card has three connections in the back for connecting an analog or DVI monitor as well as S-Video/Composite and component output. (one DVI connector, one VGA connector, and an S-Video connector) They provide several cables with the card for various connections. (S-Video-to-S-Video cable, composite-composite cable and a two way composite-S-Video cable for regular television sets)
For the gamers ATI provides SmartShader HD a pixel-shader engine that incorporates enhanced DirectX 9.0 vertex-shader and pixel-shader. Pixel-shader has ten times more instructions than before from previous products.
For video ATI provides VideoShader HD for video processing and imaging acceleration with programmable pixel-shaders.
There are 20 display modes from 640 x 480 all the way to 2048 x 1536
Colors of 256, 65K or 16.7M (These settings can depend on the display mode)
A three year warranty
128-bit dual-channel GDDR3 memory interface
8 parallel pixel pipelines
Six programmable vertex shader pipelines
Hyper Z HD
Dual integrated display controllers
Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready)
Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs Integrated
All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
Fullstream video de-blocking technology for Real, DivX, and WMV9 formats
PCIe X16 slot
Windows XP and 2000 with service pack 1
What you get!
ATI X700 Pro PCIe video card
Manual this is a standard installation manual made for several different ATI cards.
Several cables listed above in connections.
My Final Thought!
I have seen the new PCIe video cards in the stores and read some articles about them, but I never paid much attention on how much faster they could be in the near future because of the much faster bandwidth over the AGP video cards. I purchased a new MSI K8N NEO4 Platinum Motherboard which has no AGP slot, but three PCIe slots; X1, X4 and X16. Now I had to find me a new video card because my old AGP video card wouldnt work with this new motherboard. For price, new technology and quality, the ATI X700 Pro was hard to beat at $199.
The card is a bright red, which stands out and looks like something for the future. There is a large fan on the card; it looks like a mini blower instead of a fan. The fan performance is real quiet; in fact I cant hear it at all because my exhaust fans from the case are much louder. The craftsmanship of the card looks like a $400 video card. The PCIe X16 slot is a little longer than a regular PCI slot and it has a small latch on one end to help lock the video card in place.
The card is as easy to install, just like any AGP video card with the exception that the PCIe x16 has the added latch. In Windows XP the card was recognized automatically, but to get the full potential out of the card, the video drivers need to be installed from the provided CD.
The only thing that disappoints me about the card is that the maximum display is only 16.7 million colors verses my old AGP card of 32 million colors. Now as far as color comparison between this card and my old card, well it is hard for to see, both produced excellent colors and have great quality. Both cards have 256 MB of DDR memory, when using ACDSee for viewing my digital photos, I can see the new card opening up the photos much faster than my old video card. Color and clarity for both cards are excellent with the newer card showing a performance in opening up applications, video performance and game performance.
For gaming performance I used Doom III and the frame rates were smooth; the card performance reacts quickly to any movement I make without any hesitation in game play. The game graphics produce beautiful colors. For DVD plays, Star Wars II is great without any problems, just pure beautiful video in color and clarity.
So far I am happy with the ATI X700 Pro video card!