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Graphics cards maker Tul Corp. may face denunciation from customers and distributors as at least some graphics cards with the 'Power Color' brand-name made by the company use different graphics processors than they should. The company denied that the boards were made at Tul Corp.'s factories, which may mean that a third-party company made a number of fake graphics cards under with 'Power Color' brand-name on the boxes.

At least some of ‘Power Color’ RADEON 9600 PRO graphics card that are available on the market today use RADEON 9550 graphics chip with re-soldered resistors, instead of the RADEON 9600 PRO visual processing unit, according to a brief investigation of an X-bit labs bureau in Moscow, Russia. At least one retail store in the capital of the Russian Federation had Power Color RADEON 9600 PRO graphics cards with RADEON 9550 VPU in stock on Friday, the 15th of October, 2004.

Allegedly fake graphics cards are marked with R96T-QC3 marking, a typical nomenclature for Power Color’s products, equipped with 128MB of 2.8ns Hynix DDR SDRAM chips, which can theoretically run at up to 714MHz speed , D-Sub, DVI-I and TV-Out connectors, according to Tim Tscheblockov, a 3D graphics analyst for X-bit labs in Moscow, Russia. Tul Corp., the owner of the Power-Color brand-name, did not have any shipping RADEON 9600 PRO graphics cards on its web-site at press time.

“We never did this kind of product as well as wondered why this kind of thing was happened in Russian market. We will do our best to make thing more clear,” Alicia Yu, a spokeswoman for Tul Corp. told X-bit labs on Monday.

While RADEON 9600- and RADEON 9550-series of graphics processors utilize basically the same architecture and even print circuit board designs, various incarnations of the RADEON 9600 and 9550 products are validated to operate at strictly designated clock-speeds for chip and memory. RADEON 9550 is designed to address entry-level market segment with RV350 chip clocked at 250MHz, while the RADEON 9600 PRO with RV350 processor operating at 400MHz is designated for mainstream market.

Graphics chip designer ATI Technologies sells RADEON 9550 and RADEON 9600 PRO graphics processors for different prices.

ATI RADEON 9550-/RADEON 9600-Series Product Families

Brand name

RADEON 9550

RADEON 9600 SE

RADEON 9600

RADEON 9600 PRO

RADEON 9600 XT

ASIC

RV350

RV350L

RV350

RV350

RV360

Chip clock-speed

250MHz

325MHz

325MHz

400MHz

500MHz

Memory clock-speed

400MHz

400MHz

400MHz

600MHz

600MHz

Memory interface

128-bit

64-bit

128-bit

128-bit

128-bit

Notes

-

-

-

-

OVERDRIVE capability

ATI Technologies’ officials contacted by X-bit labs expressed worries about fake graphics cards on the market.

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