ATI's Radeon 9800, 9600 & 9200: Still Fighting Strongby Anand Lal Shimpi on March 6, 2003 1:33 AM EST
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Antialiasing & Anisotropic Filtering Quality
For a look at how the Radeon 9x00 and the GeForce FX compare in terms of AA & Aniso image quality, refer back to our GeForce FX Review.
AA+AF Performance - UT2003
To test these cards the way they were meant to be used we used the settings we discovered would be the best for each solution. For the GeForce FX we ran with the following settings enabled:
- 8X Performance - Balanced Anisotropic Filtering
- 4X Anti-Aliasing
The Radeon 9800/9700 Pro were run with the following enabled:
- 8X Performance Anisotropic Filtering
- 4X Anti-Aliasing
For comparison purposes we also threw in a Radeon 9x00 Pro with 8X Quality Anisotropic Filtering enabled for image quality purists, but we think that the performance setting is the best option for Radeon 9x00 Pro owners and prefer its tremendous performance advantage over the slight reduction in image quality. The comparison you'll want to make is between the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra (4X AA/8X Bal Aniso) and the Radeon 9x00 Pro (4X AA/8X Perf Aniso).
As usual, we'll start with performance under Unreal Tournament 2003:
The Radeon 9700 Pro originally did very well in this test, but the Radeon 9800 Pro puts it to shame. With 4X AA and Performance Aniso enabled, the Radeon 9800 Pro is 22% faster than the Radeon 9700 Pro; enabling Quality anisotropic filtering gives the Radeon 9800 Pro an amazing 47% lead.
The performance standings do not change as we increase the resolution; the improvements remain at around 23% and 47% for the performance and quality settings respectively.
What's interesting to note here is that the Radeon 9800 with 4X AA/8X Quality Anisotropic filtering is faster than the Radeon 9700 Pro with 4X AA/8X Performance Anisotropic filtering, a testament to the improvements ATI made to the R350 core.