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Manufacturer: ATI Technologies
Min OS X: 10.2.5    Requires: Free AGP Slot


ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
September 18, 2003 | Lucian Fong
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VERSAVISION
As the prices of LCDs decline, their popularity is rapidly increasing. They have the advantage of light weight, compactness, and excellent image quality. Also widely available now are first and third party mounting systems that allow the user to swivel their display. ATI's VERSAVISION can rotate your desktop by 90 degrees in either direction to accommodate a portrait display or a full 180 degrees. This feature will be a boon to media professionals who need to change their workflow from landscape to portrait mode and back.

Compatibility and Bugs
The only compatibility issues I encountered was corrupted menus in NASCAR 2003 when MSAA was enabled, but gameplay was not affected in any way. ATI lists several games that have issues with the OpenGL Overrides in the documentation, but they note that solutions are being explored with the help of the developers.

I did discover a few annoyances with the ATI Displays control panel. First, it does not remember the pane you were last using, so if you close the ATI Displays after configuring a game profile in the 3D pane, it will open the Info pane at the next launch. Second, the last application profile you edited is not remembered in the Application Profile menu. Finally, the Disabled Profile preset doesn't disable the selected profile. The individual settings must either be disabled manually or the profile deleted.

Final Thoughts
Any attempt to summarize the Radeon 9800 Pro's abilities in a few closing paragraphs would be woefully inadequate. It is an undeniably impressive graphics card, with or without competition. For the first time in recent memory, ATI has paired a powerful piece of hardware with an equally powerful software package that has many innovative features. Gamers will find the OpenGL Overrides useful for maximizing image quality and graphics and multimedia professionals will value VERSAVISION and the various output options.

Is the Radeon 9800 Pro expensive? Yes. Is it worth every penny of the $400 it costs? Most definitely, yes.



ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
Manufacturer: ATI
Pre-order ATI Radeon 9800 Pro at MacGameStore.com


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