Overall Unreal Tournament 2003 Performance



Without AA/AF, the high end NVIDIA cards are the clear leaders of the pack; but as soon as AA/AF are turned on, the 9800 move up the chain. The LeadTek and MSI cards are still the leaders all the way, but the Sapphire Radeon 9800XT gives them a good run for their money. Not that anyone is really going to notice a couple frames difference out of 160fps.

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  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    Very well done. Reply
  • Icewind - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    I'd like to know how the freak the Nvidia cards outdid the ATI's in Halo and UT2k3, thats just beyond me. Reply
  • TheSnowman - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    hum Derek, i don't suppose you know why the nvidia based high end cards idle at so much lower temperature when compared to the ati based offerings? Reply
  • AnonymouseUser - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    Nice roundup. The 5900se (priced similar to the 5700 Ultra and 9600XT) is what I find most impressive. Reply
  • Abraxas - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    great review, this is the first of its type that i've seen and it really changed my mind on what card to buy. I would like to see 1280x1024 or even 1600x1200 in a future review, but even at 1024 it is nice.

    53.03 is really that much faster? that's just amazing.

    #7 ATI held a huge advantage on older drivers in HALO, just as much as in HL2. if the new drivers are that much faster... it appears that nvidia should never have been doubted :)
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    Sorry Icewind, we didn't include numbers for stock 9800pro, 5900(ultra/non-ultra/se/xt) or any stock card other than the newest releases. Most other reviews cover reference cards running stock numbers, but we just needed one reference point to show where these numbers fell and give people a basis to judge performance increase.

    Iger, there are a few reasons for what you are seeing. I would say that your questions were the correct ones to ask.

    We could only use a couple benchmarks, and the couple we chose are standardish (UT2K3), based on very common engines (JKJA), or one of the few available (Halo having PS2.0 support). These were not the games with huge performance gaps between them (like Tomb Raider or Tron). Also, since we were including 5700 and 9600 parts, we wanted to stick with the standard-but-lowish 1024x768 resolution rather than bump up a 1280 flavor.

    There is also one other thing that has been overlooked. Since the fall, there have been some driver changes. We've moved up to 53.03 for NVIDIA (which brough some noticeable performance increases) and the CATALYST 4.1 drivers which we have yet to give a good work out.

    In future reviews of this type, we plan on going with higher resolutions even if we include midrange cards. So the question we leave to the readers is this: how high do we go? 1152x864, 1280x960, 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 ...
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    Most 9800's seem to be able to hit about 450MHz at the very max. Even the 9800 non-pro's (mine can get to 440MHz, but I run at 430MHz).
    Seems like a limit of the chip at about that sort of level.
    Reply
  • drpepper1280 - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    To answer a few questions, the passivly cooled 9600xt is on newegg, its the ultimate version. If you search by category it is at the bottom. Also the reason the nvidia cards do well against the ati cards is because they are overclocked in the bench marks (I'm pretty sure), also none of the bench marks are Half Life 2, lol. I had one question even before viewing the article, how does sapphires 9600xt 256mb stand up. Unfortunetly it was not reviewed, but I did read the the 9600xt could benifit from a memory increase. This makes me wonder if the 9600xt 256mb is actually a really good deal (it only cost 170 dollars), or if it is like many 256mb cards that actually decrease performance. Reply
  • Iger - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    It's strange it almost doesn't correspond with the fall test of FX5950 against 9800XT... There 9800XT looked much stronger... Now even the reference XT looks weaker, than FX. Maybe that's because the fall test was at higher resolutions? Or just not enough tests to see the big picture? Reply
  • tfranzese - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    Good article. Impressed with both camp's overclocking headroom. Reply

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