The Sapphire Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro is almost an exact duplicate of the ATI reference design, with the same basic layout and design. This is natural, since Sapphire is a big OEM manufacturer and sticks close to the ATI reference and quality control standards. The Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro does feature a different heatsink-fan unit, sporting a Sapphire-branded, round heatsink that fits the PCB a lot better than the larger ATI version.
The Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro ships at the standard speeds of 275 MHz core and 540 MHz DDR memory. The memory on the review card is the same 3.6ns Hynix DDR found on the ATI reference design, which has performed rock-solid in both instances. The external connectors include DVI, S-Video and VGA-out ports on the card's backplate, and the Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro naturally requires an external power connector, supplied through a standard molex adapter.
The Sapphire Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro retail box includes the video card, an S-Video cable, a composite video cable, a DVI-to-VGA converter, an installation driver CD, a copy of PowerDVD, a retail version of Soldier of Fortune II and a copy of the Redline ATI tweak program. This is a very fully-featured bundle, with something for everyone.
The Radeon 9500 Atlantis Pro installed perfectly on several of our test systems, including SiS, Intel and NVIDIA platforms, and drivers loaded seamlessly. The newest drivers are supplied straight from ATI, so you know what to expect in terms of features and options.
Sapphire has done something to differentiate itself from the competition through the Redline tweak program, which does offer full overclocking control, and a selection of options that are not present in the ATI reference drivers.