|Originally posted by Divine_Madcat
No. 100:1 says its not true. The 9700 is an older core; they would have had even more development time than they would have had on the 9600. If sager says it is the 9700 (R300 core), then it is, plain and simple.
The R300 is in fact and older core, but don't let that get you. Just because it is oldder doens't mean it is slower in performance.
The R350 core was designed off of the R300 core for one main reason: the Radeon 9500.
Since at the time ATI had developed the R300 core, and hence the 9700, they had their highened card (the 9800 wasn't out at the time). So they took 9700s and disabled 4 of the rendering pipelines (some of which may have been damaged in production). Keep in mind this is was Intel used to (and perhaps still does) with the Celeron processors. The CPUs that had faulty L2 cache would have half disabled, and if they tested good, would ship out. It is a great way for the company to decrease nonfunctional product %s, but not always cost effective.
Anywho, as is still the case on certain cards (see my sig!), there is a way to reenable the 4 remaining pipelines on the 9500 card.
Now the 9700 core was a very expensive core to produce, and at this point ATI had a problem because people were buying 9500 card and modding them to 9700s. ATI caught on to this and redesigned the 9500 so it could not be modded.
Eventually they redesigned the core into the 350. This core was cheaper and also had a much lesser power requirement. It runs at faster core frequencies than the 300, but the performance is no where near the 300 core (about 2000 points in 3dMark 2003).