Fall 2003 Video Card Roundup - Part 3: ATI's Radeon 9600 XTby Anand Lal Shimpi & Derek Wilson on October 15, 2003 10:26 AM EST
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We used the exact same test bed and settings as our Catalyst 3.8 review, the only difference here was that we benchmarked at 1024x768 given the power and target market of the Radeon 9600 XT. We also used the "almost final" version of the 52 series Detonators from NVIDIA (52.16) which have been submitted for WHQL certification.
As a refresher, here are the games we benchmarked with:
C&C Generals: Zero Hour
EVE: The Second Genesis
F1 Challenge '99-'02
Final Fantasy XI
Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrendtide
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness
Unreal Tournament 2003
Warcraft III: Frozen Throne
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
X2: The Threat
Our testbed remained the same:
AMD Athlon64 FX51
1GB DDR400 (2x512MB)
ASUS nForce3 motherboard
The only issues we encountered were as follows:
1) Homeworld 2 would not run on either the Radeon 9600 Pro or the Radeon 9600 XT. This is the same issue we ran into the first time we tried to run this benchmark on ATI hardware. Interestingly enough, it works on all of ATIs high end cards just not their midrange hardware.
2) Tomb Raider would not run on the GeForce FX 5600 Ultra with the latest 52.16 drivers at 1024x768. The game kept on returning an out of memory error at any resolution higher than 1024x768. Given that we tested with a 128MB card and none of the other cards had a problem, this seems like more of a driver issue or a game issue than anything else.
3) Since the GeForce4 Ti 4200 only supports PS1.1, we could not include this card in the Tomb Raider tests either. Performance under PS1.1 is much higher than performance under PS2.0, so the comparison would not be fair to ATI if we ran all of their hardware using PS2.0 and ran the Ti 4200 in PS1.1 mode.
We have not had time to go back and figure out a benchmark for BF1942 yet nor work out the issues with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. We havent received much feedback in terms of any ideas for benchmarking under these two games, but were still open to suggestions.
For image quality comparisons refer back to our Fall 2003 Video Card Roundup - Part 2.
With that out of the way, lets get to the games.