Sapphire Atlantis 9800XT

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The Sapphire Atlantis 9800XT
Up Close and Personal with Sapphire's Radeon 9800 XT 256MB

By, Marco Chiappetta
December 30, 2003

Performances Comparisons With Final Fantasy XI Benchmark 2 v1.01
Chocobos on the PC


Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy is a title that is well known to console gamers, and now Squaresoft is ready to make the jump to the PC, with a MMORPG version of the classic. The Final Fantasy XI benchmark runs through a few scenes from the game and displays a final score every time a full cycle is completed.  Although the demo is meant the check an entire system's readiness to play the game, the number of frames rendered in the demo scales well with different video cards installed.  Lower scores indicate some frames were dropped to complete the demo in the allotted time.  The scores below were taken with the demo set to "High Resolution" (1024x768), with anti-aliasing disabled. 

The Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9800 XT performed very well in the Final Fantasy benchmark, outpacing all of the other cards we tested.  It beat the Asus Radeon 9800 XT by 19 frames, and pulled ahead of the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra by 282 frames, or roughly 5%.  The GeForce FX 5700 Ultra performed at a level much closer to the high-end cards in this test; it seems like $175 can buy quite a bit of performance these days.

Benchmarks / Comparison With Gun Metal
Transformers? Thexder? or is it Gun Metal?


Gun Metal

We continued our testing with the DX9 based Gun Metal benchmark developed by Yeti Studios. This benchmark, like all of the others used in this review, is based on an actual game engine.  Gun Metal uses Vertex Shader 2.0 and Pixel Shader 1.1 ops in the creation of the game world.  This test is heavily GPU limited, and because Yeti's intent was to stress all modern 3D accelerators, anti-aliasing (2X) and Anisotropic filtering are enabled by default, and cannot be disabled.  We ran this test at 1024x768 and then again at 1280x1024.

The 9800XTs and GeForce FX 5950 Ultra performed at very similar levels in the Gun Metal benchmark.  At 1024x768, a miniscule performance delta of .64 FPS separated the first from third place finisher.  We saw more of the same at 1280x1204, where the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra pulled ahead of the Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9800 XT by only .67 FPS.  Its amazing what a few driver revisions can do.  When this benchmark was first released, NVIDIA's cards were dominant.  Now the virtual playing field is level.

Next Up: Comanche 4 & Wolfenstein

Tags:  Sapphire, App, LAN, SAP, 980, XT, AP

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