After the guide on modding the Radeon 9800 Pro into a Radeon 9800 XT, we decided to follow it up with another graphics card mod. Only this time, we will be modding a lower-end card for a lot more boost in performance than what we saw in the 9800 Pro mod.
As you all know, the ATI R350 VPU powers three different graphics cards. They are the Radeon 9800, the Radeon 9800 Pro and the card we will be focusing on in the guide - the Radeon 9800 SE. We will be modding it into a Radeon 9800 Pro in this guide. For comparisons of the three cards, please take a look at our Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide.
The ATI Radeon 9800 SE
The Radeon 9800 SE is basically a cut-down version of the Radeon 9800. While the Radeon 9800 and 9800 Pro have 8 pixel pipelines, the SE only has 4 active pipelines. Actually, it has 8 physical pipelines but only four are active. The remaining pipelines have been disabled. That's what so "special" about the SE version.
The Radeon 9800 SE actually comes in two varieties. One model has a 256-bits memory architecture with a ‘L’-shaped memory chip layout, while the other model has a 128-bits memory architecture. Both models are moddable but the performance of the model with the 256-bits memory architecture will be far superior to the 128-bits memory model.
The card we used in this guide is the Powercolor Radeon 9800 SE (256-bits) with 128MB of DDR2 SDRAM. But the method should work on all other Radeon 9800 SE cards. Even those with a 128-bits memory architecture.