The Radeon 9600 meets the DirectX9 standard of 2.0 Vertex Shader which means flow control (loops, jumps and subroutines) and more instructions that can be executed per clock cycle. The new Vertex Shader allows up-to 1024 instructions per clock cycle.
Of course there is support for Pixel Shaders also and it's a version 2.0, again this is part of the DirectX9 specification. There are several changes/additions in the specification, however not very interesting stuff for the common readers. Basically things like instructions, data type, data precision and render targets have increased or improved.
The high-bandwidth memory interface utilizes the latest HyperZ III bandwidth-conserving technology that removes a key performance bottleneck and provides end users with faster graphics performance. The third generation of ATIs innovative, bandwidth-saving HyperZ technology, HyperZ III plays a pivotal role in allowing the R300 to reach unprecedented levels of rendering performance. It incorporates improvements to all three components of HyperZ. - Hierarchical Z, Early Z, Z Compression, and Fast Z Clear. To render a 3D image properly, it is necessary to know the distance of every rendered object from the viewpoint. This distance is stored in a special buffer called a Z-Buffer or Depth Buffer, and is used to determine which objects should be drawn in front of other objects. Reading and updating the Z-Buffer typically consumes more memory bandwidth than any other part of the 3D rendering process, making it a major performance bottleneck. The goal of HyperZ. technology is to reduce the memory bandwidth consumed by the Z-Buffer, thereby increasing performance.
Truform2.0 - The Vertex Processing Engine of the Radeon 9600 also includes support for Truform 2.0, the latest incarnation of ATIs higher order surface technology. It is designed to smooth out the curved surfaces of 3D characters, objects, and terrain by increasing the polygon count through a process called "tessellation". By taking advantage of the massive vertex processing power of the Radeon 9600, it delivers more natural-looking 3D scenes without requiring any changes to existing artwork.
Smoothvision 2.0 - Smoothvision. 2.0 builds on ATIs original Smoothvision technology, which was the first to provide programmable anti-aliasing modes and high performance anisotropic filtering. The new version, introduced in the Radeon 9500 Pro VPU, provides massive improvements in anti-aliasing performance, while simultaneously producing superior image quality. It also provides a new high quality anisotropic filtering technique to provide the sharpest and clearest textures available without sacrificing frame rate. As with the original version, Smoothvision 2.0 works with any 3D application (Direct3D and OpenGL). It can be controlled either through the Display Properties Control Panel in Windows operating systems or through individual application settings.
Full Scene Anti Aliasing (FSAA) - Full-Scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) is a sampling technique that creates more detailed and realistic looking images, by removing the stair stepping effect seen on the edges of objects within computer generated images. High quality anti-aliased graphics are achieved with sub-pixel edge detection and color compression for greatly improved performance. Full scene anti-aliasing modes 2x/4x/6x.
Anisotropic Filtering - Anisotropic filtering enhances overall 3D quality by rendering sharp, detailed textures. As more texture samples are filtered, the image quality improves. Without Anisotropic Filtering, objects and environments in the 3D world will appear blurry and fuzzy, effectively degrading the level of realism.
Anisotropic filtering improves image quality by sampling textures more frequently. This is particularly important for objects rotated at sharp angles relative to the viewpoint. For example, textured flat ground in the distance and scenes with rotating 3D objects in the foreground will both benefit from anisotropic filtering, and are typically found in todays gaming content. The R300 VPU filters more samples than the competition, with minimal performance degradation. Anisotropic filtering modes 2x/4x/8x/
VideoShader - The Radeon 9600 includes videoshader, a new technology that combines the power of programmable pixel shaders with video to unlock a wide array of applications that were never practical before. One example of an application for videoshader technology is streaming video de-blocking. Most streaming internet video exhibits blocky compression artifacts, which are especially noticeable on low bandwidth connections. The Radeon 9600 can automatically filter out these artifacts, providing smoother, clearer video images. Programmable pixel shaders can be used to enhance the quality of TV and DVD playback as well, by improving on the sophisticated adaptive de-interlacing algorithms used in other ATI graphics chips. On captured video signals, videoshadercan apply real-time noise filtering to produce cleaner video. The Radeon 9600 also presents interesting new possibilities for video editing. Image filtering effects such as blurring, embossing, and outlining can be applied to video streams in real time.
Fullstream - ATI also presented fullstream - Fullstream is hardware accelerated filtering method that improves the performance and visual quality of Internet streaming video playback. When traditional block based videos (e.g. MPEG) are encoded and delivered with insufficient bandwidth, they suffer from inherent blocky artifacts. To remove this blocky look during playback, fullstream intelligently detects the edges of these visible blocks and smoothes them over using a sophisticated multi-tap filtering technique. Fullstream improves both subjective and objective qualities of Internet video playback. The result is smoother higher quality video content and a more enjoyable viewing experience.
3D Prophet 9600 256 MB review So here we have this product that balances in the upper region of the low-end segment and the lower segment if the mid-range performing product. The 3D Prophet 9600 with 256 MB DDR memory
3D Prophet Radeon 9800 Pro review Once again it's Hercules who did an amazing thing with it's new Radeon 9800 Pro. Lovely blue PCB, copper ramsinks, GPU front and backside cooled with copper plated cooling and even some capacitors have little copper ramsinks.
Hercules 3D Prophet 9700 review Read it again .. yes 9700 .. not 9700 Pro ! ATi really is saturating the market quite good with a card that fits any budget and system. Therefore ladies and gentlemen next to the 9000, 9000 Pro, 9100, 9500, 9500 Pro and 9700 Pro they now introduce you the Radeon 9700.