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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10th July, 2004, 06:47 AM
Member/Contributor/Resident Crystal Ball
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ASUS a9800xt..oops...they call it a pro!

i had been salivating over this orange card with dual fans, heatpipe, and copper heatspreader and aluminium heatsinks (other XT's have the metal ass-backwards)...
picked it up a while ago....damn thing weighs in @ 4.5 lbs! i don't think my psu weighs that much!
anyway..i bought a ASUS 9800pro 256/TVD. The main reason was that is was 256MB as well as vivo..all-in-wonders are great...if you want the tv tuner . I just wanted straight video in.
now, you've got to understand, that when i get parts for my personal computer, i usually have ripped into the package before i get home . But this one was different. I wanted no other eyes to see it but mine.
i get it it power cord. thank god i was pulling out a 9800pro that had one, or i woulda been more molexes!
i get it fired up...benches a few point better thn the pro that was just in. all the slimy monitoring goodies had me drooling...i didn't even game for 2 days. Then came out the AS5. r360 and xt pcb..couldn't have been sure until then because of the damn-awful-large heatsink.
temps a little lower....i ran atitool. does xt speeds. cool! BIOS FLASH!
but something makes me stop and pull out the card again. I grab the pcb...and my hand slips.
After jumping around, scaring the crap outta my kids, and rubbing a sore elbow, i noticed a red sticker stuck on my thumb. A9800pro it says. i quickly turn myself upsidedown to look @ the gpu-side of the card, as i tried to pull it out without removing the screw...
A9800XT rev1.01 is staring @ me in the face.
so naturally, i'm a little confused. i bought a pro. but this pcb says 9800XT right on it! factory stamped! and it has a r360!

doesn't that possibly mean that this is just an underclocked/underperforming XT? does this not mean they COULDN'T sell it as a XT? I mean, i understand that cutting costs sometimes means delivering a product for a lower price...but why throw away $100 a card?
and then i thought...i paid for a 9800 pro...and got an XT...that's false advertizing.what was printed on the outside of the box was not what was on the inside of the box. be that as it may, my problem is this...i'ma overclocker...ain't no denying that. i was hoping that it was going to be the r350 like they changed thier site to say, as just one week ago there were none in canada to be had, and bang, thier site changes...and every retailer i deal with and could look up that normally caries them in stock now has them in stock again. with all the rumors of bios flashes to make an xt outta a pro, most places sold out in less than 24 hours. 6 hours of phone calls and about 100 in long distance... i found the one i got exchanges...but they have a 3-year warranty. only ati does that, AFAIK.

so now here i sit....XT in my machine...

but the box still says pro.
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Old 10th July, 2004, 03:13 PM
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It doesn't necessarilly mean they couldn't sell it as an XT. It all depends on yields.

It's kinda the same deal that we've got with chips like the AthlonXP 2600+ Mobile. Every overclocker on earth knows that if you get the IQYHA steppings of one of these chips, they'll do 2.5 GHz or so just by asking them too, and most of them will do quite a bit more than that. So why is AMD selling a chip that will easilly run at 3200+ speeds (and hence bring $150 or so) for $95 (actually, that's what NewEgg gets, AMD gets less, but it's the same idea). Yeilds. Their process is mature enough that they can make a large portion of their chips hit the speed of their high end parts. Problem is, there's only so many people will to pay the premium for that top-of-the-line chip. If all you are selling is Cadillacs, somebody will come along and make a fortune selling Chevys, because not everyone wants or needs a cadillac. Now, the cadillac costs you the same to make as the Chevy, and comes off the same production line, so what do you do? Take some of the Cadillacs, strip 'em down a little bit (take out the leather seats and put in vinyl for example) and sell 'em as Chevys. You don't sell as many Cadillacs, but you still make money, and you keep somebody else from taking all the business for Chevys.

Make sense now?
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Old 10th July, 2004, 06:21 PM
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oh....well giz...i never said i doubt they do it... i just don't understand. From my personal perspective, it makes more sense to only offer one card nd to be the company that has "THE card". And, quite frankly, i would have bought an XT just to get the vivo, had they only offered the XT.
So, of course, i did some "playing" last night.
sucked out hte bios and checked it against the version that asus has on thier site for download. seems that the mem is the same....
bios must be optimizing the card for something or another...i editted the XT bios to have the same default clock speeds as the card did as pro, as i could not get the gpu to do XT speeds. the meme sat @ 390 all night long....well, for 7 hours.
so... i have flashed the XT bios to the card, and lo and behold..@ default pro speed, the XT scores 5938 in 3dmark03. was 5711 with the pro bios @ the same speeds.
also did some digging and found that the gpu on the XT version generally runs @ 1.77- 1.83v, whilst mine runs @ 1.72. And no, changing the bios did not make a difference. they must actually solder on a higher resistor for the IC controlling the voltage. I've got to pull the heatsink off again and see if i can solder on a trimmer and rectify that....I'm pretty sure now that this card IS an XT, just running on lower voltage.
but then again, most of the info i got comes from engineering samples, and we all know that they out-perform retail versions. so they might have upped the voltage for that sample. also, i got the white papers for the mem...they have changed alot since the first run of these hynix chips came out. i'm kinda excited by the mem chips, as if they run @ 400mhz @ CAS 2, i'm gonna be able to take them way way higher.
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Old 13th July, 2004, 05:02 PM
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here's a pic of the factory stamping. you can even see a bit of the sticker i pulled off.

did alot of research...i definately just need to give this pupply some more juice... the resistor going to the IC that measures the voltage is 200 ohms higher on mine than XT. just gotta find a good soldering point and a place to test voltage directly from the card properly.
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