ATi Radeon 9600 Pro Debut

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The ATi Radeon 9600 Pro Debut
Decent card, fuzzy naming convention

By - Marco Chiappetta
April 16, 2003

We continued our DirectX testing with Epic's Unreal Tournament 2003.  UT2003 is one of the most graphically intense games shipping today.  Once AA or Anisotropic filtering is enabled, it will slow most video cards down to a crawl.  To ensure an "apple to apples" comparison, we used a set of custom .INI files, that makes all cards utilize the same in-game settings and graphical options.

Performances Comparisons With UT:2003
Some of the most advanced visuals to date

The 9600 Pro didn't fare as well in the UT 2003 tests, except for when Antialiasing was enabled at 1024x768.  At 1600x1200 with 4X AA enabled, the GeForce 4 Ti and 9600 Pro both barely broke the 20 FPS barrier.  Clearly, the 9500 and 9700 Pros ran away with this test, with both cards practically doubling the performance of the Ti and 9600...ouch. 

Benchmarks / Comparison With Quake 3 Arena v1.32
I have watched so many Q3 Timedemos, I'm seeing them in my sleep...

We started our OpenGL testing with the venerable Quake 3 Arena, the benchmark that ( unfortunately ) never dies.  In an attempt to keep things up-to-date, we installed the latest point release, v1.32 and ran all of the Quake 3 timedemos, using the "High Quality" graphics setting with Tri-linear filtering enabled and the geometry and texture quality sliders set to their maximum values.

The Quake 3 results tell a similar story, with the Radeon 9600 Pro being outperformed by all of the other cards when AA and Anisotropic filtering are disabled.  Once we enabled AA and Aniso and things turned around dramatically.  At 1024x768 with 4X AA enabled, the 9600 Pro actually had the second best score in the group, just barely sliding past the 9500 Pro by 2 FPS.  At 1600x1200 with 4X AA enabled the 9600 Pro fared a bit better, besting the 9500 Pro by 4.3 FPS.

Serious Sam & The Conclusion... 

Tags:  ATI, Radeon, ATI Radeon, pro, BU

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