ATI All-In-Wonder RADEON 9800 Pro

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ATi's All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro
When You've Got To Have It All

By: Dave Atlavilla
June 9, 2003

 

Splinter Cell
AA 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 Beyond 3D, 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.

GeForce FX 5900 Ultra
Rendering Artifact

Furthermore, 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. 

We're more than impressed with this new soup-to-nuts solution from ATi.  Let's re-cap.

 

ATi's new 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.

 

HotHardware's PC Hardware Forum, Get Your Game On!

 

 

Tags:  ATI, Radeon, 980, pro

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