Transforming your Radeon 9800 Pro into a Radeon 9800 XT

Introduction

With the Radeon 9800 XT release, ATI started manufacturing its Radeon 9800 Pro using the same core of this new chip, called R360. Thus, the newer Radeon 9800 Pro with the R360 core are, in fact, Radeon 9800 XT running at lower clocks. While the Radeon 9800 Pro works at 380 MHz and access the memory at 340 MHz (680 MHz DDR), the Radeon 9800 XT works at 412 MHz and accesses the memory at 365 MHz (730 MHz DDR). Since the only difference between these two chips is the graphic processor and the memory clocks, it is possible to transform a Radeon 9800 Pro into a Radeon 9800 XT by doing a video card BIOS upgrade, if your Radeon 9800 Pro has the R360 core. This upgrade also changes the model registration, which makes the Windows and the other programs identify the card as a Radeon 9800 XT. Today we will teach you how to make this transformation, saving you some money.

The first thing you need to know is if your Radeon 9800 Pro has the "old" core (R350) or the "new" one (R360). Only boards based on the new chip model (R360) can be transformed into a Radeon 9800 XT. This identification can easily be done by counting the number of memory chips available on your board. If your board has 16 chips, it uses the R350 and cannot be transformed. But if it has 8 chips, it uses the new R360 core and can be changed to a Radeon 9800 XT with this tutorial.

Before performing the modification, you can check wheter it will work or not, performing an overclocking on it, using PowerStrip software (http://www.entechtaiwan.com). Configure your board to run at 412 MHz (core) and 365 MHz (730 MHz DDR, memory) and run a 3D benchmarking software like 3DMark03 (http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark03/) to check if your board runs smoothly with this overclocking. If it works fine, you can perform the upgrade process we will explain. If it doesn’t, you will have to find, using PowerStrip, which are the top clocks your board supports, and change its BIOS with them. We’ll talk about this later.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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