I never knew working an average of 18 hours a day and sleeping every other night could be so incredibly enjoyable. These past two weeks have been so full of benchmarking and analysis that I hardly have time to breathe. Of course, when people come up to me and tell me "man, I wish I could play games for a living too," I can't help but laugh out loud. I tell them: its not about games, it's about trying to understand the hardware. Of course, that is my kind of fun. The only problem is that I don't get to see what the picture looks like until I benchmark games for 50 hours.

When we sat down to start working on this series, I was very excited. I know that it's taken a long time to try to get the whole picture out in the open, but we wanted to be very thorough. Some of the motivation behind Part 1 was to give everyone an idea how these two cards perform vs. mid/high end cards that are already out. We wanted to give a basis for comparison so that numbers between 9800XT and NV38 had some way to relate back to what we already know. So now we can get on with trying to push these to their limits and beyond. The only other card we will be testing in Part 2 is the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra with both 52.14 and publicly available 45.23 WHQL drivers. We will also be doing a separate article on ATI's Catalyst 3.8 drivers when they are released.

This time around we tested at 1280x1024 (or 960 in some cases), and 1600x1200. At each of these resolutions we tested with AA and AF off and on when possible. Some games brought both cards to their knees, while others provided little more than a bump in the road. There is an incredible amount of information in this article so you may want to set aside some time to digest it all. We've done one unconventional test that will at least be a very good point of discussion, and there are plenty of surprises within.

The series is far from over and the next thing on the plate is a value/mid-range roundup to show you some cards that are actually feasible to purchase.

We hope you will enjoy reading this as much as we did putting it together.

An even more updated Test Suite


View All Comments

  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    Wasn't Anand allowed to use ShaderMark v2.0 for det. the pixel shader performace? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    lol read this article take me a 1/2 hour. this article is great but it can be improved Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    why anand didnt review bf1942 :( Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    why is anand bashing Tomb raider
    and whats up with PS 2.0 graph
    why not just post the fps, makes it seem
    like nvidia is beating Ati. Also why are beta drivers being tested with nvidia. Should have used
    cat 3.8 for Radeon.
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    im still waiting that a site post a review for an 9600 XT Reply
  • Pete - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    Overall, a good read. Thanks, Derek and Anand. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    im not biased towards either card. i myself own a 9800pro. what concerns me is the immaturity shown by other ATI card owners. you guys act like nvidia can never measure up to ATI (which is so untrue). there was none/little difference in the IQ and benchmark results (with few exceptions, but explanations were given for the most part). also keep in mind that the 9800xt specs are higher than the 5900/5950 and it still managed to get beat in some of the tests. anyway, good job nvidia. you guys are certainly headed in the right direction. i was a bit sad to see my card excluded though :( ... they said they'll benchmark the value cards soon...i hope to see mine there ;)

    ps: i could be wrong about the specs, but i do remember anand saying the XT had higher memory bandwidth (which could've accounted for some performance differences).

    all in all, a good review, ill be waiting for more updates.
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    18, he says he saw it saw it, he doesnt know why it was there, there is no reason to exclude regular fps graphs, especially since people want to know the fps of this game, since it is the ONLY truly dx9 game in the entire suite Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    Hey Anand did nvidias check arrive yet Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    Haha, yet again, we see fanATIcs (#10, #14) coming out of the woodworks to claim that Anandtech's review is either biased or NVIDIA is still cheating. lmao, losers!

    And by the way #14, you're plain dumb if you couldn't figure out that the TR:AOD graphs were showing a percentage difference. Christ, read the review.

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