Image Comparison and Test System
HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM:
We tested the ATI Radeon 9250, on an i865G based Intel D865GBF motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 3.0CGHz CPU. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "High Performance Defaults". Then we set the memory to operate at 400MHz (in dual-channel mode) and set the AGP aperture size to 512MB. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the Intel chipset drivers and hit the Windows Update site to download and install all of the available updates. Then we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and removed Windows Messenger from the system altogether. Auto-Updating, System Restore, and Drive Indexing were then disabled, the hard drive was de-fragmented and a 768MB permanent page file was created. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance", installed the benchmarking software and ran all of the tests. Throughout our testing, ATi's drivers were configured for maximum visual quality.
Video Cards -
Hard Drive -
Intel Pentium 4 3.0CGHz
ATi Radeon 9250
1024MB Kingston HyperX PC4000
Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS
Western Digital "Raptor"
MSI XA52P 48x24x48x
Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
Video Drivers -
Windows XP Professional SP2 (Fully Patched)
Intel INF v5.0.1006.0
ATI Catalyst v4.9
|Note:||Quantifying image quality of a video card, is a relatively difficult task. This is a somewhat subjective area that in many cases can come down to user preference, in some of the criteria. However, there are some very specific points of reference that are easily judged and apparent to any user. We'll try to cover what we feel is important in our final testing and performance section. The test results below where done using both the Diamond Stealth S100 and Diamond Stealth S110.|
|Image Comparison - Unreal Tournament 2004|
|1024x768 - No AA||1024x768 - 2x AA||1024x768 - 4x AA||1024x768 - 6x AA|
Located above are some screen shots taken with UT2004 at a resolution of 1024x768 with all detail settings maxed out. Moving from left to right, as the AA level was increased, you'll notice a slight decrease in the amount of "jaggies" along the edges of various objects. The most notable area is the vertical metal beams, in the bottom windows, near the tank. To more clearly see the changes in image quality, open up the four images in different windows and Alt + Tab between them.
|Click Image To View Full Size - 1024x768 (Max Detail)|
For those of you who are considering using this card for some occasional gaming; we fired up Activison's latest expansion pack, United Offensive, for their very popular WWII game, Call of Duty. To showcase the visual performance of the 9250 we ran the game at a resolution of 1024x768 with all the detail settings maxed out. Though the game did slow down during some intense battle sequences, it was still fairly playable. However, for smooth consistent game play, we would probably recommend lowering the visuals settings down a bit. With all that in mind, click through the images above and enjoy the eye-candy.