ATi Radeon 9000 and Radeon 9700 Preview

ATi Radeon 9000 and Radeon 9700 Preview - Page 9


The ATi Radeon 9000 and Radeon 9700 Preview
ATi 's Next Generation Products Unveiled

By, Jeff Bouton and Dave Altavilla
July 18, 2002


More Quality with Quake 3
64-TAP Anisotropic Filtering

The first thing you might notice is that we didn't include any MX440 reference numbers.  There is a good reason for this, the GeForce4 MX440 is not capable of 64-TAP Anisotropic Filtering.  That didn't stop us from running the other three cards though, so let's get to it.


This time around, the Radeon 8500LE took the prize in all three tests, but the Radeon 9000 Pro maintained a lead over the Ti4200 through out.  Like we said when we started, Anisotropic is historically ATi's strong point, and this still holds true with the Radeon 9000 Pro.

As it stands right now, it looks like ATi has a couple of winners on their hands with the Radeon 9000 and 9700 series cards.  With the Radeon 9000 Pro, ATi has done nice job at coming up with a value based video card which delivers on its promise of exceeding the performance of the MX440.  In fact, we found that the performance of the 9000 Pro was superior in virtually every test, even stepping into the Ti4200's territory from time to time.  Entering the market at a price of $129, the 9000 Pro falls right in the middle of the MX and Ti4200 which we've seen as low as $80 and $140 respectively.  The only thing that makes us hesitate on the life expectancy of the Radeon 9000 series, is the timing.  ATi is taking on the well established GeForce4 MX and Ti4200 cards, aiming to offer a powerful alternative to the popular low price GF4 line.  However, if history repeats itself, then nVidia is probably looming in the shadows with their own new product line and we wonder where the Radeon 9000 will fit then.  We'll just have to wait and see.  For now, we're giving the Radeon 9000 a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of...

ATi Radeon 9000Pro

The Radeon 9700 series, on the other hand, is completely ground breaking technology.  This is definitely ATi's most impressive 3D Graphics solution to date, with the technology and horsepower that should allow it to completely blow anything available on the market, right out of the water.  Although none were available for a full review at this time, we expect from what we've seen on paper and behind closed doors, with preliminary benchmarks, that the Radeon 9700 will steal the limelight from any GeForce card currently available.  The operative word here is "currently".  NVIDIA is rumored to be readying it's NV30 for release sometime late in Q4.  We'll just have to wait and see but all indications are that, with a .13 micron die geometry, they'll be able to squeeze a ton of leading edge technology into that GPU.

For now, it's advantage ATi and in a big way.  Stay tuned to in the next couple of weeks, as we get our Radeon 9700 test board in house and run it through a gauntlet of benchmarks!  Who knows, maybe even Epic will send in Unreal 2003 for testing.  (big gasp... we're holding our breath)


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