Graphics card maker PowerColor, a subsidiary of Tul Corp., said Thursday it would add a yet another cut-down ATI RADEON 9800-based graphics card into the lineup. The firm will from now sell two RADEON 9800-series products with 128-bit memory bus, two times more narrow compared to the original RADEON 9800 specifications.
Tul Corp. now offers two graphics cards powered by ATI RADEON 9800 visual processing unit with 128-bit bus under its PowerColor brand: RADEON 9800 Platinum Edition and RADEON 9800 PRO EZ. The RADEON 9800 Platinum Edition and PRO EZ graphics cards from PowerColor feature fully-fledged RADEON 9800 PRO graphics processor with 8 rendering and 4 geometry pipelines, but are based on PCBs similar to that of the RADEON 9500 PRO – with 128-bit memory bus for 128MB of DDR SDRAM memory.
The original RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB graphics cards were clocked at 385MHz/680MHz for chip/memory and equipped with 128MB of DDR SDRAM with 256-bit bus. The cut-down PowerColor’s RADEON 9800 graphics card operates at 380MHz/600MHz for chip/memory.
Cutting down the memory bus width to 128-bit from 256-bit is likely to seriously reduce performance of the graphics card in applications that rely on rapid memory access as well as in situations when full-scene antialiasing is enabled.
Tul Corp. is not the first company to offer RADEON 9800-class graphics cards with 128-bit bus. Earlier this year Sapphire Technology started to produce RADEON 9800 PRO “128-bit Edition” product, but after facing condemnation from a group of computer enthusiasts renamed its product into “RADEON 9800 128-bit Edition”. Club 3D also offers RADEON 9800 LE graphics card with 128-bit memory bus. It is unclear why PowerColor calls its cut-down product with “Platinum Edition” brand-name that marks current RADEON X800 XT high-end offering from ATI Technologies.