When ATI first announced that they were going to allow third party board manufacturers to produce graphics cards based on their GPUs we thought it was a great idea, but poorly executed.

For the longest time all we saw were prototype boards from companies like FIC but when push came to shove, we hardly saw any third party ATI cards being produced. Eventually a few cards based on the Radeon 8500 platform were produced but no where near on the level as competing NVIDIA solutions.

This is all seeming to change with the release of ATI's Radeon 9000 and Radeon 9700 series of cards. For the first time, Taiwanese board manufacturers will have their solutions ready at the same time as ATI. We have already seen an example of this with the Radeon 9000, where boards from Gigabyte and Tyan have been in our hands for a while now. Even at ATI's launch of the Radeon 9000 there were upwards of 10 manufacturers with their Radeon 9000 boards on display.

With Monday marking the first retail shipments of the Radeon 9700 Pro, we bring you a preview of Gigabyte's GV-R9700Pro - their Radeon 9700 Pro card.

The Card

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