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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [07.29.03]
Manufactured by: Hightech Information Systems

Est. Street Price: ~$350-370

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Of course, some of you may think that the card burns rubber already but here at is never really fast enough.  HIS ships their 9800s slightly underclocked at 378MHz core/337.50MHz memory (as compared to a 380/340 standard).

That doesn't mean that we can't pump it to the limit though.  I was very happy to see a nice beefy
overclock with this card, getting to 428MHz core/372MHz (744MHz DDR) memory before I started getting unstable.  Let's see the 3DMark difference this makes.

Remember, I did this on stock air cooling with zero modifications so just imagine what would happen
if I slapped a water block on that GPU? We'll keep you posted if that happens.

Your results may vary, of course, as no one can really guarantee your card can do exactly the same
thing as another.  Be careful if you're going to be messing with the clock speeds but seriously, other than for benchmarking bragging rights, there shouldn't be too much of a reason, like games, to overclock the fastest card available that high. Don't say I didn't warn you.

ATi has truly outdone themselves with the Radeon 9800 Pro, topping their own creation that was already the fastest kid on the block. At its basics, think of the 9800 Pro as a turbo-charged 9700 Pro, like taking a car that's already fast and making it a little faster. The modifications ATi has done to the R300 core were definetly well engineered.

HIS has done very well with their rendition of the 9800 Pro, putting together a nice software package
at almost no extra cost. If you're one of those people who are worried about it being simply "Powered by ATi", this card kicks ass and I'm sure it's every bit as good as something ATi built. 

At a MSRP of $399, a 9800 Pro card is going to burn a relatively large hole in your savings but if
you're looking for the absolute best in performance, there's really no other way to go at the moment. Remember, the 9800 Pro was created to compete with the 9700 Pro as well as the FX5800 Ultra and as you can see here, it outperforms the 9700 Pro nicely, maybe by 5-25% in any given test. As for the FX5800 Ultra, it's as rare as whooping cranes that build their nests out of shards of the cross of Jesus...and we all know it sounds like a leaf blower. Until we can get our hands on a FX5900 Ultra (or the 256MB version of this 9800 Pro, which features DDRII), the 9800 Pro stands as the performance champ.

If you've already got a 9700 Pro, the extra speed doesn't really justify an upgrade as there are no image quality improvements since the R300 so if you've already got a 9700 Pro or even an overclocked 9500 Pro, stick with it until the next big thing comes out.

Of course, if you're looking for even more than the 128MB 9800 Pro has to offer, there is a 256MB version of the 9800 Pro available. Before forewarned,'ll probably need to volunteer for some medical science testing before you can afford it.

  • ridiculous speed
  • excellent overclocking
  • drivers are stable
  • nice software bundle
  • improves on the already fast 9700 Pro

  • expensive (but worth it)
  • just about zero image quality improvements over the 9700 Pro

Final Score: 95%