ATi Radeon 9700Pro Full Release Review

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The ATi Radeon 9700 Pro Full Release Review
ATi Technologies Overtakes NVIDIA's Flagship GPU

By, Dave Altavilla
August 19, 2002

Take a quick gander at our test system specs, before you head into battle.

HotHardware's Test System
Pentium 4 2.4GHz Performance with the i845

Common Hardware:
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz (2400MHz - 533MHz FSB)

Abit BD7 (Intel i845E)
256MB Corsair PC2700 (CAS 2)

On-Board NIC

On-Board Sound

IBM 7200RPM 30GB HD

Windows XP Professional (DirectX 8.1)

Intel Chipset Drivers v4.00.1013
Intel Application Accelerator v2.2

 

Graphics Card Drivers:

NVIDIA Detonators v29.80 (WHQL Certified)

ATI Catalyst Drivers v7.75

 

Graphics Cards Tested:

Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB

NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti 4600 128MB
Visiontek GeForce 4 Ti 4200 

ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB

ATI Radeon 8500LE 128MB
 

Quake 3 Arena Time Demo "Four"
Let's get it over with

We might as well put up the Quake 3 numbers first.  Frankly, although this benchmark is a widely referenced metric for performance, it's relevance is fading with each passing year.  Regardless, we have your Quake 3 numbers.

 

At 1024X768, you can see that the CPU in our test-bed was more of a limitation than anything else.  However, at 1280X1024 and beyond, the Radeon 9700 Pro steps out beyond the pack.  At 1600X1200 resolution, it bested the GeForce 4 Ti 4600 by more than 32%.  However, we're still not properly taking advantage of the Radeon 9700 Pro's power.  So, we'll fire up the AA.

The Radeon 9700 Pro's 256 bit memory bus, with 20GB/sec of bandwidth, as well as it's SmoothVision 2.0 AA engine, power the card far beyond the GeForce 4 Ti 4600.  The R9700Pro is 75% faster at 1024X768 with 4X AA and well over twice as fast at 1280X1024.  Even with 6X AA enabled at 1600X1200, the Radeon 9700 Pro is faster than the GeForce 4 at a lower resolution and with less AA sampling.  The performance lead shown here is nothing short of amazing.  Quake 3 is fluid and VERY playable at 1600X1200 with 6X AA, on the Radeon 9700 Pro.

Let's take a look at the spread with Ansiotropic Filtering kicked into gear.

Quake 3 Anisotropic Filtering


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