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

    yea I agree with what #3 said..hardly any commentary on the IQ... and If I'm not mistaken, aren't the new cats going to be out tomorrow???? If so, you might as well do the whole thing over again... Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    #3, go away you fanboy. There was absolutely no IQ difference between the CAT 3.7 and 52.14 drivers. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    i'm sure intel will be happy to hear that you 'upgraded' your prescott to an FX. Reply
  • dvinnen - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    errr, a lot of the piture links aren't wrking, like teh halo iq one and TR:AoD Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link


    Why was there nothing noting the difference between nVidia and ATI's in the IQ section? nVidia looks absolutely horrid compared to the ATI.
  • AgaBooga - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    I saw more opinions in this article leaning towards Nvidia, especially around the Tomb Raider benchmarks. More specifically, starting with the page regarding compilers. I liked this articles, but there could have been less opinionated viewpoints on this. Also, it might be better if we get names of authors with what they typed, so we know who typed what, because some of this sure didn't sound like something Mr. Shimpi has written in the past... Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    i'm still reading..............

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