ATI's Radeon 8500 November Driver Update

ATI's Radeon 8500 November Driver Update - Page 2

The ATi Radeon 8500
Driver Update 11/14/01
One step closer but still not quite there yet

By Dave Altavilla


AA Benchmarks
Smooth images but remember the frame rate


In the interest of not creating one silly mess of a bar graph, we decided to expose you to a different kind of eye chart that shows you the available modes of AA with the Radeon 8500 and benchmark numbers at various resolutions and color depths.  First we'll start with Quake 3 Time Demos.



We'll let these numbers speak for themselves.  Respectable performance is garnered here but it is really not even within striking distance of GeForce3 "Classic" levels.  Specifically, we have seen standard GeForce3's (200MHz. Core and 460MHz memory clock speeds) in the 65 fps range, when running 4X AA at 1024X768 in 32 bit color.

Update 11/14  - 10:15 AM
Since the release of our article last night, we have been asked by a few HotHardware readers to compare AA performance with DirectX 8.1 on Win2K versus a GeForce3 Ti500.  We'll represent the results here in easy to read graphs.


Here we see respectable performance from the R8500.  You should consider the default "performance" setting here, in line with quality level of nVidia product.  The "quality" mode setting scores are representative of somewhat superior image quality than what is produced by an nVidia card.  We were having trouble getting bright enough screenshots in Q3 with the R8500, so to reference the quality difference, we suggest heading over to this page in Anandtech's review, for reference to the image quality in ATi's "quality" mode.

We also decided to show you what a recent DX8 title can do with the Radeon 8500's AA methods.

Anybody that has run this benchmark demo knows, that is very taxing on any current 3D Graphics card on the market.  Don't be alarmed by the relatively low frame rates, even with no AA on.  A GeForce3 Ti500 doesn't handle things much better in this demo in general.  Let's move out to our non-AA induced test with Max.


Benchmarks and Comparisons - R8500 Vrs. GF3 Ti500
The gap closes somewhat

Driven by DirectX 8, Max Payne is a 3D shooter with loads of eye candy.  Versus our first pass testing of the R8500, the ATi card manages to keep up fairly well with nVidia's top of the line.

MadOnion's 3DMark 2001 utilizes the same game engine, so let's see how things shake out in this test.

Click here to see scores with the GeForce3 Ti500 and the first revision of the Radeon 8500 drivers. You'll note that indeed performance in 32 bit color has improved significantly and the R8500 beats the GeForce3 Ti500 up to 1600X1200.  At 1600X1200 it is a dead heat between the two.

On the OpenGL front we have GL Excess scores for you as well, versus the GF3 Ti500.

In 16 bit color, the R8500 is strong.  The tables turn when the color depth is turned up to 32 bit however and the GF3 Ti500 prevails by 10 - 15%.


Let's look at a couple more OpenGL data points and then wrap things up.


Vulpine GL, Quake 3 and the final rating


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