With your ATI Radeon 9700 you can have hardware 3D.
You'll have to download a driver form ati.com (it is the last opportunity there, for XFree 4.3)
and to install it. For asking how to do that, look under www.gmpf.de.
There is a nice howto.
For some reason does the kernel 2.4.21 which is inside of suse 9.0 (i had it before), not support some chipsets. If you have an nforce2 or via kt400 or kt600, you can forget it. then you need to compile a new kernel (at least 2.4.pre8). VERY DIFFICULT! I have not finished it how to...