Although the ATI RADEON X700 PRO is labeled midrange, it is indeed a relative term. In the current graphics card scheme with the likes of ATI's RADEON X850 series and NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra, the humble RADEON X700 PRO seems like a midrange card. However, it wasn't all too long ago that the RADEON 9800 XT was the king of 3D graphics cards. A year later and it close to half its price, ATI's RADOEN X700 PRO (based on the same technology prowess of the well received X800 series), actually performs slightly better than the RADEON 9800 XT could have managed and is offered on the new PCI Express x16 interface. Some highlights of the RADEON X700 PRO VPU are its eight pixel rendering pipelines, six geometry engines (vertex units) and a 128-bit DDR3 memory interface. As recommended by ATI, nominal clock speeds for graphics cards based on this VPU are 425MHz for the graphics engine and 860MHz DDR for the frame buffer. Most of these cards are equipped with a 256MB frame buffer, but a few chose to manufacture 128MB versions as well. Were these up to the task? You'll find out about that and more over the span of this long article.
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