ATI's Radeon 8500 and Radeon 7500

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ATI's Radeon 8500 and Radeon 7500 - Page 5

ATI's Next Generation
The Radeon 8500 and Radeon 7500 Review

Untapped Power

By Dave Altavilla






The final battle ground - Quake 3 Arena
Don't leave home without it


Quake 3's game engine is showing its age for sure but we don't know a graphics card OEM that doesn't optimize their drivers to run this game flat out as fast as possible.







The song remains the same here, except for the fact that the race is much closer.  The Radeon 8500 has admirable performance versus the GeForce3 Ti500, which is now retailing at roughly a $25 to $50 premium versus Radeon 8500s.  Also, the Radeon 7500 hangs tough with the GF2 Ti but can't compete with the third generation technology cards.  In addition, looking at the price points here, the R7500 may have a real problem taking off, with GeForce3 Ti200s retailing for about the same price.


It's been a long time since nVidia had a real competitor in the high end 3D Graphics space.  There have been others nipping at their heels for the mid range and value segments but it seems like ages since there was a real threat to their flagship GPUs.  It looks as if ATi is dangerously close to nVidia's performance crown.  The hardware design brought forth here by ATi is completely impressive, from core silicon technology to board design and quality.  Furthermore, TruForm has the potential to do things for image quality much the same way anti-aliasing has, rendering smoother more natural lines.  However, there is and it seems, always has been, a real hurdle for ATi to overcome once again, that being their software. 

Good drivers are as important to a graphics card as the bleeding edge processor technology that  powers it.  We've seen glimmers of excellence with the Radeon 8500 and 7500 product lines, only to be soiled by a non functional feature like SmoothVision or less than capable performance, as we saw in the OpenGL testing here.  As it stands now, ATi's next generation product is fighting with one hand tide behind its back.  They need to react quickly with better drivers, while the small window of opportunity is open for them.  During a recent conference call with ATi the marketing team assured us that ATi is committed to updating driver releases every three weeks for WHQL certified versions and every two weeks for non-WHQL certified performance drivers.  We have our hopes set high that they will be able to deliver here.  Until then, we are going to hold off on our Heat Meter rating.  We'll come back and update this section as the weeks roll on and as we get further developments.


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Tags:  ATI, Radeon, 8500, and

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