ATI Radeon Experience

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The ATI Radeon Experience
ATI's new 3D Graphics powerhouse may just be the new King of The Hill

By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
7/17/00

ATI's Test System
Standard fair...

Pentium III 866MHz., Asus CUBX Motherboard (BX chipset, BIOS 1005), 128MB PC-133 2-2-2 RAM, SoundBlaster PCI 128, WD 10GB HD and 3Com NIC

Benchmarks with the Radeon
Oh yeah, we dig this...

3D Mark 2000 Tests

 

First let?s take a look at the 3D Mark 2000 scores?

Troubling and exciting at the same time, huh?  Other than the high scores, you?ll also notice quite a few blank areas in this graph.  The blank areas designate a test either ?hanging? the system, or dropping to desktop.  Unfortunately with the test system we used it is very tough to pinpoint whether or not this was a driver issue, or a hardware issue.  Remember, that using a BX motherboard set to 133MHz. FSB results is a HIGHLY overclocked AGP slot (89MHz. as opposed the default 66MHz.).  At 1600X1200X32 the test completed, but with a multitude of dropped textures.

We also ran 3D Mark with hardware T&L disabled to see what kind of affect the Radeon?s T&L unit was having on the scores:

 

Again, the blank spots on the chart signify a test that ?crashed? in one way or another.  Also notice that using PIII T&L results in higher scores at all resolutions.  This could mean that either the Radeon?s T&L unit meets it?s match once a PIII 866 or higher is used, or that 3D Mark 2000 is showing it?s age and not even stressing the hardware.  You can compare notes to the type of performance the GeForce 2 will yield in these tests, here from our Elsa Gladiac review

 

MDK2 Tests

I?ve been playing a TON of MDK2, and am familiar with its performance, so I ran it?s built-in time demo in a variety of ways also:

I speak from experience?these scores are excellent.  Notice the sharp drop once FSAA is enabled.

We used PowerStrip to overclock the Radeon in this test.  We kept the clockrates in sync with one another (core / memory), but you can adjust them independently if you wish.  Notice however that at lower resolutions over-clocking actually hurt performance.  Also notice the anomaly at 1600X1200.  I would attribute this mildly erratic behavior on driver immaturity; hopefully things will mature quickly with the Radeon. 

We also ran the MDK2 timedemo with hardware T&L disabled:

The scores were virtually identical.  The OMEN engine used in MDK2 is highly optimized to run with your CPU, but this is yet another test showing that hardware accelerated T&L has not yet come of age.

Quake 3 Arena Bencmarks and the all important FSAA

 
Tags:  ATI, Radeon, XP, ATI Radeon, IE

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