Pipeline PCI 8 / Pipeline 64 / Pipeline 64 HQ / Pipeline PCI BY 8

The WD9710-MZ was a full 64-bit graphics and motion video accelerator chipset released in March 1995. This high-performance chipset allowed for up to 320 MB/sec data throughput.

Released 1995
Chipset Western Digital RocketChip WD9710-MZ
Standards MDA, Hercules, CGA, EGA, VGA
Memory 1 or 2 MB EDO DRAM
Ports 15-pin DSUB (RGB analogue out)
Part # WDC 60-603787-005
FCC ID DBM603787
See Also  

The onboard RAMDAC supports 24-bit TrueColor (16.7 million colours) at resolutions up to 1024 x 768, with a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 at 256 colours. It also had hardware BitBlt operations for 8-, 16- and 24-bit colour modes. It supported PCI and VESA Local Bus interfaces.

The full motion aspects of the WD9710-MZ supported hardware MPEG-1 compression.

The memory is held in two banks each comprising of four SOP package EDO SDRAM memory ICs. Bank 0 is the lowest four chips and these are soldered in. Bank 1 is the upper four chips/sockets. Up to 4 MB of video memory is supported by the WD9710, though most graphics cards based around this chip came in 1 MB and 2 MB versions only.

The provided CD-ROM included Windows 95 drivers, a video player and "Oasis95" Windows configuration software.

Click here for the WD9710 datasheet.

The WD9710 chip competed directly with the following chipsets/cards:

  • ATi Mach64
  • Matrox MGA-2064W (example card: Matrox Millennium)
  • S3 Vision 968 (example cards: Number Nine FX Motion771, $599, and STB Systems Velocity 64V, $449)
  • VideoLogic PowerPlay 64
  • I.C. Works ZoomDAC (example card: Hercules Stingray 64, $250)
  • Weitek Video Power (example card: Diamond Viper Pro Video, $649)


Board Revisions

Only one known board revision exists: X5




In the Media

"Western Digital Corp, has an announced a single chip that accelerates graphics and improves the apparent resolution of motion video.

Intended primarily for integration into PC motherboards, the RocketChip WD9710 chip will also be available in third-party boards, said Leonard Sharp, vice president of marketing for the company. Boards and systems based on the chip will ship in the second quarter of next year and are expected to cost about $299, he said.

The RocketChip WD9710, a 64-bit chip, will normally ship with 2MB of DRAM, allowing it to display noninterlaced resolutions as high as 1,280 by 1,024 with 256 colors.

The chip will also take motion video at a resolution of 320 x 240 and scale it up to 640 by 480 without any noticeable fuzziness and without dropping frame rates, Sharp said.

The chip is optimized to support MPEG1, Cinepak, Indeo, and any other codec (compression/decompression) that supports the Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. Display Control Interface driver specification, the company said.

Boards based on the chip will accelerate any application under Windows, Windows 95, OS/2, SCO Unix, and AutoCAD, and MicroStation under DOS. In addition, the chip supports Microsoft's Plug and Play specification and VESA's Display Data Channel 1 and 2 monitor specification.

The chip supports the PCI bus, among others, and will work in Mac or PC boards, said Western Digital. The company plans to develop a version of the chip for portables later in 1995, Sharp said."
InfoWorld, 3 Oct 1994


Setting it Up


Operation Manual

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Original Utility Disk

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