AquaMark3 GeForce FX 5900 Ultra Vs. Radeon 9800 Pro

AquaMark3 GeForce FX 5900 Ultra Vs. Radeon 9800 Pro - Page 2


AquaMark3 - GeForce FX 5900 Ultra Vs. Radeon 9800 Pro
DX8/DX9 Pixel and Vertex Shader Benchmarking

By: Dave Atlavilla
September 15, 2003


In the following image quality and benchmark runs, please take note that we have tested the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra with a beta version of their Detonator 51.75 drivers.  We also tested the GFFX 5900U with NVIDIA's currently released 45.23 version WHQL drivers.  The Radeon 9800 Pro was tested with the latest Catalyst 3.7 WHQL drivers.

HotHardware Test System and Setup
A Top End Pentium 4 Rig

NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB - Driver Version 51.75
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB - Driver Version 45.23
ATi Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB - Driver Version Catalyst 3.7
Pentium 4 Processor at 3.0GHz (800MHz FSB)
Motherboard and RAM Config
DFI LAN Party 875Pro - i875P Canterwood Motherboard
1GB of Kingston HyperX PC3500 CAS 2 RAM
Other Hardware and Software:
Western Digital Caviar WD1200 SE 120G HD
Windows XP Professional SP1
Intel Release Chipset Driver  v5.00.1012
DirectX 9.0b

Anti-Aliasing Quick Take
NVIDIA's AA still not doing the work of ATi's  AA

AquaMark3 is definitely capable of rendering some impressive eye candy.  As such, we felt compelled to look at GeForce FX 5900 Ultra and Radeon 9800 Pro image quality, in an effort to see just how good things could look.  So we came right back to our keen interest in Anti-Aliasing IQ comparisons between the Radeon 9800 Pro and GeForce FX 5900 Ultra. 

The NVIDIA 4X AA shot below was taken with their new Detonator 51.75 driver version.  These are low compression 1024X768 JPEGs and are best viewed at the same resolution desktop.



In our opinion, it still seems as though NVIDIAs driver and GeForce FX card, are not doing the work of the ATi Radeon 9800 Pro driven by ATi's Catalyst drivers.  Take a close look at the scene here.  The domes on top of the nearby silos, the top edge of the building in the distant top left corner, and even the edges of the hovering vehicle, all look cleaner in the ATi 4X AA shot.  This is our subjective opinion of course and you can judge for yourself.  However, everyone on our team here at HH that has seen these images, all agree, ATi's AA just looks cleaner setting for setting versus NVIDIA's.

Anisotropic Filtering
Look closely, very closely and what do you see?

We then set out to not only highlight AquaMark3's impressive graphics engine but also to look at the Anisotropic Filtering output of the Radeon 9800 Pro versus the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra.  These shots, as with our AA shots, were setup within the AquaMark3 control panels, as far as AF and AA levels were concerned, rather than in driver control panels.

ATi 4X Aniso


ATi 4X Aniso


ATi 4X Aniso


8X Anisotropic With Zoomed Sample Area



The first thing you'll notice in these shots, is how much more vivid the ATi based shots are.  Frankly, we have no idea why this is.  Gamma settings in the benchmark or driver control panels, couldn't compensate for the darker and more washed out NVIDIA images.  If we turned up the gamma, versus leaving it set to the identical position as we had for the Radeon 9800 Pro, the images would get brighter but even more washed out looking.  Beyond that, we'll let these images speak for themselves.  You can decide which you like better.  However, our humble opinion is that the ATi AF shots are more detailed than the NVIDIA shots, regardless of color saturation.  Would you notice this in fast action game play?  Maybe, Maybe not but when you consider that image quality should be taken into consideration when viewing benchmark scores, the differences in the output results of these two cards, should also be taken into account as well.

Benchmarks?  But of course!

Benchmarks With AquaMark3 !


Tags:  Radeon, GeForce, Ultra, force, fx, 980, pro, ULT, AMA, AR, AM, K

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