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ATi & Nvidia Video Card Roundup #2

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AMDMB.com - Video Card Round-up #2

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

Over a month ago we published
a comparative
video card article
featuring
the Radeon 9500, a soft-modded Radeon 9700, a GF4 Ti4800SE, a FX5200 and FX5600.
Today we are updating that article with results from the latest NVIDIA high-end
card:
the
FX5900 Ultra 256MB. Seeing that all other cards tested are $80-230 USD, one
would think that an FX5900 Ultra priced at $430 would simply win every benchmark.
But as we will see very shortly the results are mixed and there is certainly
room for improvement on NVIDIA's part.

FX5200Radeon 9500FX5600

Ti4800SERadeon 9700FX5900 Ultra 256

The Candidates

  Radeon
9700
Radeon
9500

FX5900
Ultra


(NEW!)

FX5600 FX5200 Ti4800SE
Manufacturer Soft-modded
R9500
Sapphire
Tech.
NVIDIA MSI MSI MSI
Memory
(MB)
128 128 256 128 128 128
Memory
Interface (bits)
256 128 256 128 128 128
Memory
Type
DDR-I DDR-I DDR-I DDR-I DDR-I DDR-I
Memory
Bandwidth (GB/s)
17.6 8.8 27.2 11.2 6.4 8.8
Manufacturing
Process (microns)
0.15 0.15 0.13 0.13 0.15 0.15
Core
Clock (MHz)
275 275 450 270 250 275
Memory
Clock (MHz)
270 270 425 275 200 275
Street
Price (USD)
~$230

~$120

~$400 ~$140 ~$80 ~$150
Category
Range
Mid-High Mid Highest Mid Low/Budget Mid

 

Benchmark System

Motherboard MSI
KT4 Ultra (VIA KT400 chipset)
Processor XP 1800+ @ 166x10
(1660 MHz)
RAM 512MB
PC2700 (2-3-3-6T-Fast)
Hard
drive
Western Digital
120GB WD1200BB
Networking LinkSys
LNE 530TX
Sound Turtle Beach Santa
Cruz
Operating
System
Windows
2000 Pro + SP4
NVIDIA
Driver
Detonator v45.23
ATI
Driver
Catalyst
3.5

Performance Tests

Real-Time
Strategy
Age
of Mythology
Space
Simulator
Freelancer
Role
Playing Game
The
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
First
Person Shooter
Unreal Tournament
2003. CTF-Face3 flyby
Space
Simulator
X2:
The Threat. Rolling Demo.
Synthetic
Benchmark
3DMark 2001 SE
v330
Synthetic
Benchmark
3DMark
03 v330
Anti-aliasing
Quality
The Elder Scrolls
III: Morrowind
Anisotropic
Quality
The Elder Scrolls
III: Morrowind

Changes from Previous
Round-up Article

Video
Cards
Added
results from FX5900 Ultra 256MB.
NVIDIA
Driver
Changed from v44.03
to v45.23 Detonator.
Freelancer Changed
benchmark mission
Unreal
Tournament 2003
Removed DM-Asbestos
tests. Anisotropic filtering now controlled by LevelOfAnisotropy variable.
X2:
The Threat
New
benchmark
Image
Quality
Changed from UT2K3
to Morrowind



(see previous article here)

Nomenclature

  • AA, Anti-aliasing

    An algorithm that gives the illusion that an edge in 3D space is
    rendered with a finer grid than in reality (aka. "removes the jaggies").
    AA is more important at lower resolutions since a rendered
    line has fewer pixels
    and therefore more jaggy. Higher the AA sampling level, the nicer
    and sharper edges appear, but usually at the cost of the hardware's
    performance.

  • ##xAA

    Notation used to indicate an anti-aliasing sampling level. i.e.
    2xAA means "Two
    times anti-aliasing sampling level".

  • AF, Anisotropic
    Filtering


    The sharpening of textures as it recedes away from the viewer. Higher the
    AF sampling level, the nicer and sharper textures appear in the distance,
    but usually at the cost of the hardware's performance.


  • ##xAF

    Notation used to indicate an anisotropic filtering sampling level.
    i.e. 2xAF means "Two times anisotropic filtering level".

  • AAxAF

    Notation used to indicate an anti-aliasing/anisotropic filtering
    pair. Example, "2x4" means
    that anti-aliasing is set to 2x and anisotropic filtering set to 4x.

  • FPS, Frames
    per second


    The number of frames rendered by the video hardware per second. Higher the
    number, the smoother things appear. Ideally you want this number to be as
    high as possible, but in some cases consumers prefer to have higher details
    for a nicer image and sacrifice some performance.

 

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