First post, by CharlieFoxtrot
While ago I got this reference design Radeon 8500, although it might be an LE based on the Powerstrip default clocks (250,250):
Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today
For having some new Win98 hardrware fun I decided to change the insides of my win98 box (P3-800, Abit BH-6, GF4MX440, SB Live!) to a pretty period correct "Top-end autumn 2001" configuration with Abit KG7 RAID, 1400MHz Thunderbird, 512MB 2-2-2-4, this Radeon 8500 and SB Audigy1.
System works just fine after installing PCI latency patch for VIA686b SB, but the image quality of this Radeon is simply awful and GF2 cards put it into a shame. It is blurry and resolutions above 1024x768 are practically unusable. Higher refres rates beyond 75Hz are pretty much the same: image blurs like hell. There are also some contrast issues. Brights come out pretty reasonably, but darker shades seem to have some sort of black crush issue and darker shades blend together. This can be somewhat mitigated with driver/monitor controls, but then usually lighter shades almost burn out and it definitely shouldn't be this way. There is something wrong with this card.
I also have Hercules Radeon 8500LE and decided to switch that in place of this card and oh boy, did things improve A LOT. It is like night and day.
As said, there is definitely something wrong with the output of that reference card, but what? I think all the chips are just fine as both 2D and 3D graphics have no artefacts until overclocking, which this card also is exceptionally bad at. It still seems to work just fine, except IQ is probably one of the worst I've seen. Could this be a cap issue and would it be worth recapping it? It has few Sanyo through hole caps and bunch of SMD caps of unknown brand. They do look good, no bulging, visible leaks or dimmed solder pads of SMD caps.