continued our benchmarking with Croteam's Serious Sam:
The Second Encounter. We configured the game to use OpenGL
(this is one of the few games that can use either DirectX or
OpenGL) and ran a series of tests using the built-in "Little
Trouble" demo. To ensure the playing field was
level, we used Beyond3D's "Extreme Quality" script
which maxes out the texture and filtering
quality with all of the cards tested.
Head-to-Head / Performance
With Serious Sam: TSE
Lots of Guns, Action and Explosions!
The GeForce FX 5900 eclipsed the
Radeon 9800 Pros by about 8% at 1024x768 in Serious Sam:
TSE, both with and without Antialiasing enabled (The FX
doesn't offer 6X AA in OpenGL, hence the N/A in the graph).
The tables were turned when we raised the resolution to
1600x1200, however. At 1600x1200, the 9800 Pros pulled
ahead of the FX by roughly the same 8%, regardless of which
AA method was in use. Once again, the Radeon 9600 Pro
performed well, but was clearly outclassed by the high-end
Overclocking With The Gigabyte GV-R98P128D Radeon
= Good. Faster = Better!
Obviously, the Gigabyte
GV-R98P128D is fast. The Radeon 9800 Pro powering this
card is arguably the highest performing GPU currently
available, but there is always some room for improvement!
We set out to see just how much headroom was available, by
overclocking the card until visual artifacts started to
appear during the benchmarks. We ended up overclocking
the GV-R98P128D's core up to 422MHz and the memory up to
373MHz (746MHz DDR). These speeds are 11% (core) and
10% (memory) higher than default. Actually, the
GV-R98P128D overclocked even higher than this without
crashing, but there were visual anomalies galore. To
demonstrate the benefits of overclocking the card, we ran
the Gun Metal benchmark at 1024x768. When overclocked,
the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D was about 9.7% faster, almost
catching the GeForce FX 5900.
The Gigabyte GV-R98P128D Radeon
9800 Pro is an excellent product. With the Gigabyte
GV-R98P128D, gamers are blessed with all of the power and
visual splendor of an ATi Radeon 9800 Pro, but Gigabyte
includes a handful of games and an overclocking utility at a
lower price point than an "ATi Built" equivalent. As
of today, the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D can be found for roughly
$355 US at various on-line resellers. The "ATi Built"
Radeon 9800 Pro is selling for about $369 US. $14 may
not be a significant amount of money to most people, but it
is money than can be spent elsewhere! The Gigabyte
GV-R98P128D proved to be very stable throughout our
benchmarking process, it had a good amount of overclocking
headroom, great image quality, "best of class" performance
and the included accessory and game bundle was better than
most similar products, at any price point. In the end,
we don't have anything really negative to say about
this card. We would have liked to have seen a more
recent game bundled with the card to show of its true power,
and heatsinks on the RAM would have been a welcome addition,
but there is no denying Gigabyte has done a great job.
Based on its bundle, performance and competitive price,
we're giving the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D Radeon 9800 Pro a
HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of 9.5.
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