The reference 7.68 drivers that
are included with the board are the same drivers ATI hosts
on their own site. The most recent release, 7.70 has
an impressive impact on performance as indicated by the
brief comparison below. It should also be noted that
the 7.70 drivers support anisotropic filtering in Direct3D
programs - a feature still missing from NVIDIA's own driver
support overclocking through a hidden registry key like
NVIDIA, so we rely on application like PowerStrip from
Entech or the
included OptiTweak taskbar utility. Here are some
screen shots of this handy utility home grown by Unitech.
Giants and Serious
Sam - DX7 stuff
mentioned, neither Serious Sam nor Giants fully utilizes the
DirectX 8.1 features of the RADEON 8500 graphics processor.
In fact, Giants was released around the time of the GeForce2
GTS, so it takes advantage of the fixed geometry pipeline of
the Charisma Engine II with some shader effects. Both
games still provide entertaining game play and look great at
high resolutions, but we still would have liked to see
something a little more modern.
Shots taken on the Optimus
Giants and Serious Sam The Second Encounter
Click for full viewing
2D Desktop Image Quality:
earned acclaim for crisp 2D quality. At the same time,
NVIDIA has a history of being lambasted for lackluster
output. The difference between the two companies is
that ATI gets to choose the components on its video cards,
while NVIDIA?s graphics processors are often used in
conjunction with board components of lower quality.
Since third-party manufacturers make these decisions, one of
our worries about the Optimus 8500 was that Unitech may have
opted for similarly sub-standard filter components in an
effort to cut down on manufacturing costs.
Fortunately, the card was able to output sharp text, even at
Setup, Quake 3 With and Without AA and Anisotropic Filtering