Not Enabled For Proper Comparison
Before we dig
into this last round of testing, we should give you a little
background on our methodology with Splinter Cell as a
benchmark. Although Splinter Cell is an impressive
game engine graphically, it is a bit rough around the edges
as a benchmark, in the proper sense. Recently, certain
on line publications have tested with this benchmark and
enabled AA while running their tests. What you should
know is that, at this point in time, AA, for all intents and
purposes is broken with Splinter Cell. ATi's drivers
enable AA but there are artifacts that result.
NVIDIA's drivers simply turn OFF AA, rather than render an
anomaly. As a result, if you are comparing AA enabled
scores with Splinter Cell, you are comparing one card doing
the work of processing AA and one card, in NVIDIA's case,
not doing it at all.
In our Splinter
Cell benchmarks here, we once again used the handiwork of
our friends at
with their "Oil Rig" Demo test and benchmark script.
We ran the following tests without AA enabled but we did run
a set of numbers with Ansio Filtering enabled as well.
NVIDIA still has a bug in their drivers with respect to the
pixel shader effect that is used to render the water in this
scene. Take a look at the screen shot above. See
the flat areas in the water? Last we checked, when
water ripples from wind or current, large areas don't go
completely flat calm at random. This anomaly is not
present with ATi's cards and the water effects look normal
without the dropping shader issues that NVIDIA has.
So, again we're not quite sure what NVIDIA's card is doing
in this test but we'll provide you the scores as is and you
can take them for face value.
The Oil Rig
demo that Beyond 3D created is heavily dependant on Pixel
Shader performance to render the ocean water areas around
the Oil Rig. As you can see here, both the AIW Radeon
9800 Pro and the 256MB Radeon 9800 Pro overtake the GeForce
FX 5900 Ultra handily in this test. This is very
surprising, since Splinter Cell was ported over from the
X-Box, which we all know has an NVIDIA GPU inside. One
would think that this benchmark would lean more toward the
GeForce FX 5900 Ultra but it certainly does not. Also,
you'll note that the All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro is right
on top of the 256MB Radeon 9800 Pro in this test.
than impressed with this new soup-to-nuts solution from ATi.
All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro delivers on just about every
level you could want, as an Enthusiast Gamer, Multimedia and
TV solution. Its TV, Video Capture and Editing
capabilities are expansive and its processing quality is top
notch. The Remote Wonder, along with ATi's Multimedia
Center 8.5 and EASYLOOK make TV, DVD and Multimedia playback
a pleasure, as it should be. The cinematic
capabilities of this card are second to none on the market,
although we hear NVIDIA's Personal Cinema 2 is around the
corner. However, when you consider ATi integrates all
this functionality on to one neat and clean AGP card, you
really have to consider that the All-In-Wonder family of
products is unique and unchallenged, in terms of overall
design, ease of installation and use. There are many
aspects of the All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro that really put
it in a class by itself.
If you are
hell-bent on the highest frame rates and image quality, the
All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro won't leave you flat either.
As we have shown you here, the card competes head to head
with the best of what NVIDIA has to offer, losing by a small
margin in some tests and winning by a small margin in
others. The next thing we can consider is cost.
This new All-In-Wonder will most likely retail for $499,
which we know may leave some of you wincing a bit.
However, when you consider you're getting a $449 3D Graphics
card, $79 - $99 TV Tuner Card, RF Remote, and several
hundred dollars of bundled application software and games,
the numbers add up justifiably. In the end this is a
card for the enthusiast that wants it all and isn't afraid
to pay for it.
This is one
fantastic Graphics/TV Tuner Card that ATi put together and
we're happy to give it a Hot Hardware Heat Meter rating of:
Our Editor's Choice Awards is
rarely given out and only when a product garners the praise
of several of our team members here at Hot Hardware, as a
product they would personally use in their own systems.
ATi's All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro earns every bit of this
distinction with our staff.
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