Article by Justin "Wyrethewolf"
Design/Graphics/Flash by Allan "Zardon"
Today I am not reviewing new technology... Today I am going to review
a card that is the low man on the totem pole. You may ask why... Well,
most people have heard about modifying a Radeon 9500 non pro into a
Radeon 9700 non pro by opening the other 4 pipelines that are disabled
by default on the 9500. Today not only am I going to show you how to
do this... but I am also going to show you the performance increases
that you can gain from this.
The easiest way to hack, or unlock a Radeon 9500 non pro is to install
the Omega Drivers... I will be using these today to show you what happens
to a 9500 np that is unlocked, and overclocked... as these drivers have
both the ability to overclock, and to unlock the Radeon 9500 non pro.
The MSI K7N2 DELTA-L – nFORCE2 Ultra400 chipset
AMD Athlon XP 2500+ @ 2300MHz (11.5x200)
2 x 256MB OCZ PC3200 EL
Philips Acoustic Edge PSC706 - v.1.89 WDM
80GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 Ultra 8MB cache
nFORCE2 10/100 Ethernet
Windows XP Pro - SP1
FEATURES AT A GLANCE
• Four parallel rendering pipeline
• Four parallel geometry engines
• AGP 8x support
• SMARTSHADER™ 2.0
• SMOOTHVISION™ 2.0
• HYPER Z™ III
• TRUFORM™ 2.0
MPEG-2 decoding with motion compensation.
iDCT and color space conversion. Adaptive de-interlacing and frame rate
conversion, dual integrated display controller, dual integrated 10-bit
per channel 400MHz DACs. Integrated 165MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0
compliant). Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution.
Optimized for Pentium® 4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon™ 3Dnow! PC 2002
• Pentium® 4/III/II/Celeron™, AMD® k6/Athlon®
or compatible with AGP 2X or AGP 2X/4X/8X universal slot
• AGP 2.0 socket or higher recommended
• 128MB of system memory
• Installation requires CD-ROM drive
• DVD playback requires DVD drive
• Windows® Me, Windows® 2000, Windows® XP
PERFORMING THE MOD
First off you need the proper graphics card… Not all of the Radeon
9500 np cards out there will accept the modification.
You need this
type of card:
9500 np cards can not be modded:
Please be aware that even if you have
bought, or already own the proper type of card, not all cards will fully
accept the modification, and the resulting texture errors have come
to be commonly known as “checkerboarding”.
Omega could not have made it any easier
to perform. The following images will show all the necessary steps to
perform the mod.
for driver installation
If you dont like
flash or prefer standard images, this is a step by step guide (click
for full size image)
All done? Excellent… After rebooting as needed,
it is time to get down to the fun part of this review/guide!
Since I all I need to show is the performance delta for different settings…
I am just going to be using two DirectX benchmarks that are so well
known that I do not believe that they need much of an introduction.
Is modifying the Radeon 9500 NP into a Radeon 9700 easy?
Is it really worth it? Absolutely, I believe that the benchmarks speak
for themselves. Even without overclocking the unlocked 9500 np is quite
There are also some other
small advantages to performing the hack on the Radeon 9500 np. PRICE!
At just under 150 dollars this is by far the most performance you can
get… for the least amount of money.
This card is
truly a WOLF in sheep’s clothing!
Disclaimer: Please be aware
Driverheaven and its staff are in no way responsible for any damage
caused to any hardware by modifications carried out in these guides.
Support for Omega drivers is given on the Driverheaven forum.