Since I am soon upgrading to a 6800 graphics card, I thought that I would write a review of my current card, the ABIT RX700 PRO 128 PCIE. I have always thought that this card was brilliant, and hopefully if you read on I hope you will see why.
This card was developed by ATI under the chipset name of RV410. It’s targeted at the mid range market, which is good news because it means that this card doesn’t cost a fortune! For just a little over £50 you can have a card that is perfect for gaming and doing everyday computer based tasks.
A Little about Abit
For nearly 15 years, ABIT has been the brand of choice for hardware enthusiasts worldwide. ABIT Engineers work year end and year out to deliver products that are powerful, flexible, and stable – fulfilling the needs of users that demand nothing less than the very best. In the past, PC enthusiasts have chosen ABIT products because of the level of flexibility they offer. A good example of this is our SoftMenu™ technology which allows an unrivalled selection of BIOS options, including operating frequencies and voltages. With SoftMenu, users finally had a way to optimize their systems the way they saw fit, empowering them to squeeze every drop of performance available.
Over the last 24 months, we’ve made significant changes to the way ABIT products are developed, designed, and manufactured. The result on these changes is something we like to call BulletProof Technology. BulletProof Technology ensures a superior product by focusing on four key areas: Quality, Stability, Reliability, and Engineering. With BulletProof Technology, users can count on ABIT products to consistently deliver award-winning performance and stability today and tomorrow.
Some of these changes include utilizing 100% Japanese capacitors on ABIT-branded motherboards and graphics cards. This insistence on quality ensures that ABIT products are built for long-term, problem-free use. For total stability under extreme conditions, all ABIT products must pass the Torture Test before ending up on store shelves. ABIT Approved test reports detail all components which are problem-free with ABIT motherboards, ensuring that users can count on ABIT reliability. Finally, ABIT Engineering continues to deliver what it has from the very beginning – exclusive features that provide added convenience, stability, and performance for the discerning computer enthusiast.
By incorporating BulletProof Technology, ABIT has transformed itself into a company that not only delivers superior performance, but also top-notch quality, stability, and reliability. If you’re new to ABIT, I invite you to try our products and feel what many call the “ABIT Experience” – products that deliver as promised right out of the box. For those who have been with us these past 15 years, thank you for making ABIT the number one enthusiast hardware brand. We’ve come a long way together, but we have even more to come.
|Memory and Bus Width||128 MB GDDR3 / 128 bit|
|Core speed||425 MHZ|
|Memory speed||432 MHZ x 2|
|Output||DVI / VGA / S-Video|
|Direct X support||9.0|
|TV connector||S-Video / composite|
Native PCI Express support
– Provides Dual-simplex connection capable of 4GB/s/direction in x16 configuration
– Capable of supporting bandwidth hungry application
– True PCI Express with native x16 lane improvement
– Support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
– Direct X 9.0 Vertex Shaders
– Vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
– Direct X 9.0 Extended Pixel Shaders
– Up to 1,536 instructions and 16 textures per rendering pass
– 2nd generation F-buffer technology accelerates multi-pass pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
– 32 temporary and constant registers
– 128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
– Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
– Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® via extensions
– High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
– Works with any two-channel data format
– 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
– Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1)at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
– Temporal Anti-Aliasing
– 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
– Up to 128-tap texture filtering
– Adaptive algorithm with bilinear (performance) and trilinear (quality) options
– 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with Early Z Test
– Lossless Z-Buffer Compression (up to 48:1)
– Fast Z-Buffer Clear
– Z Cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
– Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
– Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
– FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology (Real, DivX, & WMV9 formats)
– MPEG1/2/4 decode and encode acceleration
– DXVA Support
– Hardware Motion Compensation, iDCT, DCT and color space conversion
– All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
– YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
What’s in the Box
– ABIT RX700 Pro-256PCIE Board
– CD Drivers with PowerDVD5 software
– S-Video Extension cable
– Composite cable
– DVI-I to D-Sub VGA adapter
When I first received this product I was quite impressed. Box is strong and sturdy as well as being quite colourful.
Here we have the card itself:
As you can see the card looks quite plain without much design on it. Just the logo “Abit” and the stock cooler to break up the bland PCB and electronic components.
The package itself contains the following:
A quick installation guide
A user manual
S-video to composite adapter
Composite extension cable
S-video extension cable
A DVI to VGA adapter is also included, a good little gadget if you want to do dual screen but only have 2 VGA monitors.
While installing this card, it showed a little reluctance to go into the PCI-E socket, but after a little fiddling about it went in without any more problems.
After installing the card, I was surprised to see a nice blue LED inside the HSF; it lights up the card nicely making it much more pleasing to the eye.
To test out this card I have used several benchmarks to see how this card coped with both recent benchmark and older ones.
Counter strike: source stress test.
I have used the following system to test this graphics card.
AMD64 3700+ @ 2.5ghz
1GB Hynix PC3200 DDR400 RAM
Foxconn K8MA-RS mobo
Hiper typeR 480W PSU
300gb Maxtor HDD
The drivers I used while testing this card were: Official Catalyst 6.14
The x700 Pro scores an amazing 20434. This performance is expected from a much higher end card and yet we see it on this mid range card! However, 3Dmark01 is an older program and is CPU and RAM dependent. So we will see how this card does when faced with the more modern 3Dmark 03 and 05.
Unlike the previous benchmark this card does not compare in any way to the more expensive, high end cards (10k and above). However it performs adequately for a card in this price range.
Again this score does not really have any bearing on the higher end cards but this is expected as this test is very GPU dependant, and high scores are only achieved with much more expensive hardware.
Counter Strike: source
The first stress test I ran was with everything on high settings, at 1024×768 but with no Anti Aliasing (This gives a smooth edge). The second test was conducted with 2X AA, and the thirds was with maximum settings and AA set at 6X.
|Frames per second|
As we can see, the AA really did have a big impact on the performance, with six times AA causing nearly a 20% decrease in performance!
To give you an idea of what AA does you can clearly see the difference below.
This card is fantastic for what it costs. At only £55 it gives brilliant benchmarking scores and can play games with no problems on the higher settings. Also this card has Video out which is a great feature. The driver CD also gives you a copy of Power DVD; free software is always a bonus. There is one bad thing I would say about this card though; the fan built onto it is very noisy. Its almost always audible above the noise of my case fans.
|Brilliant performance||Noisy fan|
|Great features – video out etc.||Appearance of the card itself isn’t stuning|