Articles: Graphics

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We managed to get a new graphics adapter based on the ATI RV350 VPU (RADEON 9600 PRO). This time it was FIC R96P graphics card. We decided to undertake a detailed test session in order to figure out how the performance of this graphics solution depends on the texturing quality settings, and to study the theoretical performance potential behind the RV350 chip.

Well, we will tackle these questions later in or today’s review. And in the meanwhile get acquainted with our today’s hero: FIC R96P graphics card.

Package and Accessories

The card came to us in a retail package, i.e. packed in a colorful attractive box designed in black-and-red palette. It looked a little bit similar to FIC A92 (RADEON 9200) package. However, instead of the jumping silver panther we saw some kind of  furious hell creature looking like a bull but with metal horns and predatory teeth. Besides, the box is decorated with ATI Technologies’ logo and indicates the amount of onboard graphics memory: 128MB.

Here is what we found inside the box:

  • FIC R96P graphics card;
  • User’s manual;
  • CD-disk with the drivers and WinDVD;
  • D-Sub-to-DVI-I converter;
  • S-Video-to-RCA converter;
  • RCA cable;
  • S-Video cable.

As you see, this product can’t boast a rich accessories set, however, everything one may need to install and use it effectively is present.  The user’s manual is pretty detailed, it is packed into a tight plastic film together with the software CD.

Closer Look

When I took a closer look at the FIC R96P graphics card the bright-red PCB immediately caught my eye. Another thing that I also noticed right away was a pretty modest cooling system used on this solution, which was very similar to the original RADEON 8500 cooler. It seems that 0.13micron production technology allows to do with a compact and noiseless cooling system like that.

As you see, the PCB of FIC R96P is very close to the reference design from ATI. Only the PCB color is different, which is not much of a deal, actually. When I removed the cooler I found a layer of standard “chewy” thermal interface, which is very efficient in nominal working conditions and also protects the graphics chip die from damage during cooler installation and removal. Nevertheless, I immediately wiped it off and replaced with a generous layer of thermal paste, because I was going to do some overclocking later on.

The PCB is equipped with 8 BGA memory chips with 2.8ns access time working at 300MHz (600MHz DDR) frequency. The core was certainly working at 400MHz, just as it was supposed to.

All in all, FIC R96P doesn’t boast any outstanding peculiarities: it is a well-done RADEON 9600 PRO, with a quality PCB design following the reference from ATI.

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