ati finally replied (after just 13 days) and they just cut'n'pasted some information from their web support:
[begins ati quote]
Bios settings play a big part in system performance. Especially the ones related to AGP. I have included some AGP specific BIOS settings that may help to correct your freezing issue. Motherboard manufacturers update their BIOS's from time to time, so it would also be good check for updates. Updates can give enhancements to older BIOS's.
· Video BIOS Shadow - DISABLED
· Init Primary Display - AGP
· AGP MASTER 1W/S READ/WRITE - ENABLED/DISABLED (Toggle this option)
· AGP 4x/8x Mode - DISABLED
· AGP Fast Write - DISABLED
· AGP Aperture size - 128 MB
· AGP Driving Control - AUTO
· AGP Performance Control - ENABLED/DISABLED (Toggle this option)
· Assign IRQ for VGA - ENABLED
· System Bios Cacheable - DISABLED
· Video BIOS Cacheable - DISABLED
· VIDEO RAM Cacheable - DISABLED
· Read Around Write - ENABLED/DISABLED (toggle this setting)
· PnP OS installed - YES
If you continue to get no display from bios or doesnt boot properly, please test the card in a different system.
[ends ati quote]
the problem is that i just have a few of these available. Any further hint?