More Head-to-Head Performance
with Serious Sam: TSE
Lots of Guns, Action and Explosions!
We continued our
OpenGL benchmarking with Croteam's Serious Sam: The Second
Encounter. Serious Sam is a more current OpenGL based
program that does a decent job of stressing the mightiest of
video cards, especially at higher resolutions. To
ensure that both cards were on a level playing field, we
utilized the "High Quality" script developed by the folks at
With Serious Sam
we found the scores between the two cards to be more
balanced. At 1024x768 the scores were very close with
the GeForce FX card taking a minor lead with NO AA.
Each card turned out virtually identical scores at
1600x1200. Once we enabled 4X Antialiasing, the
VisionTek Xtasy 9800 Pro took a small lead at all
resolutions. When it comes to enhanced visuals, the
Radeon 9800 Pro based card is clearly superior to the FX
Overclocking With The VisionTek Xtasy 9800 Pro 128
Just Couldn't Leave Well Enough Alone!
a standard practice around here, in an effort to satisfy
those who are not happy running their hardware at their
default settings. With the VisionTek Xtasy 9800 Pro
128, we had decent luck going from a default core speed of
380MHz to 430MHz, a gain equaling 13%. The memory on
the other hand jumped from a default 340MHz (680MHz DDR) to
365MHz.(730MHz.), resulting in a 7.3% increase. When
we put these overclocked speeds to the test, we managed to
push the Unreal Tournament 2003 1600x1200 score up from
99.23 to an even 110FPS, resulting in a nice 10% boost.
With some added cooling and RAM sinks, this card could go
even higher, but in its current configuration, anything
higher than 430/365 resulted in serious artifacts.
XTasy 9800 Pro 128MB proved to be the solid performer that
we expected. Compared to the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra,
the 9800 Pro was in command, especially when we enabled
various strengths of Anisotropic Filtering and Antialiasing.
When you factor in that the FX card we used had DDR2, this
says a lot for the XTasy 9800 Pro 128MB. We also liked
the simplicity of the card too. Surely nVidia is able
to develop a card that can compete, but their models require
elaborate cooling solutions that often require the use of 2
PCI slots and generate enormous amounts of heat.
5900 Ultra card also shares this design but does drop
in, with performance slightly ahead of a Radeon 9800 Pro, in
most situations. The Radeon line is more of a finesse
card, capable of the higher performance with a more elegant
performance and quality is the most important consideration
for a video card, it is not the only one. VisionTek
pulled off one of the trickiest marketing strategies we've
ever seen. They were able to come up with a great
looking design for the XTasy 9800 Pro 128 box, with a modern
looking clear plastic design and backed it by some of the
funniest "language" we've ever seen on a package. We
think that they may be a bit misguided on how to reach the
target audience for this product, but they are not lost on
delivering a video card with the power to run anything you
can throw at it.
From a pricing
perspective, we've seen the VisionTek XTasy 9800 Pro 128
card selling for anywhere from $375-359, while we've seen
the ATi version available for as low as $345. It seems
that the VisionTek version is not as widely available as
other 9800 Pros, making it difficult to compete price wise.
We also did a search for GeForce FX 5800 Ultras and saw the
prices dip as low as $315 for some while others sold for
well over $400. GeForce FX 5900 (non_Ultra versions
start at $390 and go up from there. In our
opinion, the Radeon 9800 128 is the best all around solution
for the money. The card will run faster with
Antialiasing and Anistropic Filtering enabled. It will
run cooler and quieter since it only requires stock cooling,
and it occupies only one slot in your case. While some
of you may be a bit disappointed at the lack of bonus
materials in the package, you should be quite happy with the
quality and performance of this product and we feel its
image quality simply looks better in general, compared to
nVidia GeForce FX based models.
Overall we were
impressed with the quality and performance of the VisionTek
XTasy 9800 Pro 128 and give it a Hot Hardware Heat Meter
Rating of an 8.5.
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