ATI Radeon 9800 XT

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ATI Radeon 9800 XT - Page 3

The ATi Radeon 9800 XT  256MB
ATi Turns Up The Heat In High End 3D Graphics

By - Dave Altavilla
September 30, 2003


NVIDIA's recent driver optimizations, that have been targeted at Anisotropic Filtering performance and run a psuedo-filtering mode, rather than true Aniso Filtering, will skew the numbers in our Unreal Tournament tests.  However, image quality is still fairly good with the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra here, with the exception of NVIDIA's AA quality and since this game and its game engine are so popular, we decided to roll with the numbers regardless.  However, we'll reserve too much commentary and let the scores do the talking, since the picture is fairly obvious to those of you in the know.

Benchmarks With Unreal Tournament 2003
DX8 Performance In The Mainstream

We'll call attention to the numbers here just a bit to put things in perspective.  The Radeon 9800 XT is able to best the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra with 4X AA enabled but when we enable 8X AF, the GFFX takes the lead handily.  Again, this doesn't correlate to what we've seen in the past here and as a few other sites around the net have noted recently, NVIDIA's image quality doesn't exactly stack up versus ATi's in Aniso Filtering with UT2003.  The real story here is that the new Radeon 9800 XT drops in a solid 23 - 25% performance improvement with AA and AF enabled, versus a Radron 9800 Pro 128MB card and about a 9 - 10% improvement over the 256MB Radeon 9800, in this test.

Head-to-Head Performance With Splinter Cell
Stealth Pixel Shading Redefined

Splinter Cell currently has a bug in the game engine that doesn't allow either NVIDIA or ATi cards to properly run AA modes.  As such, we've taken scores with various levels of Anisotropic Filtering enabled or at default in the driver control panels.

Game, set and match...The Radeons all sweep this test, with the Radeon 9800 XT posting a 7 - 10% lead over the Radeon 9800 Pro cards.  NVIDIA's product doesn't like the DX8 Water Pixel Shader effect, that is used in the Caspian Oil Rig demo, that was created by the folks at Beyond 3D.  Although, this effect isn't utilized in every level or map in the game, the effect itself is indicative of the types of high quality viisuals you'll begin to see more and more of, in upcoming DX8 and DX9 titles.

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