The R350 vs. R300 - Winning the Efficiency Battle

We can measure the impact of just the improvements to the core by clocking the R350 (Radeon 9800 Pro) at the same speeds as the R300 (Radeon 9700 Pro), and running a quick set of AA and non-AA benchmarks. For this impromptu comparison we used our favorite benchmark - UT2003:

Unreal Tournament 2003
1024x768x32
Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

Radeon 9700 Pro

1.00

1.00

|
0
|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
1

Unreal Tournament 2003
1280x960x32
Radeon 9700 Pro

Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

1.00

0.99

|
0
|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
1

Unreal Tournament 2003
1600x1200x32
Radeon 9700 Pro

Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

1.00

0.98

|
0
|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
1

As you can see, without AA or Anisotropic filtering enabled, the Radeon 9800 Pro at the same frequency, is not any faster than the Radeon 9700. But see how things change once we enable AA/Aniso:

Unreal Tournament 2003
4X AA/8X Perf Aniso 1024x768x32
Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

Radeon 9700 Pro

1.09

1.00

|
0
|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
0

Unreal Tournament 2003
4X AA/8X Perf Aniso 1280x960x32
Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

Radeon 9700 Pro

1.09

1.00

|
0
|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
0

Unreal Tournament 2003
4X AA/8X Perf Aniso 1600x1200x32
Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

Radeon 9700 Pro

1.09

1.00

|
0
|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
0

With 4X AA and 8X Performance Anisotropic filtering enabled, the Radeon 9800 Pro's R350 core is already 9% faster than the Radeon 9700 Pro. But watch what happens when we put even more stress on the memory bus:

Unreal Tournament 2003
4X AA/8X Qual Aniso 1024x768x32
Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

Radeon 9700 Pro

1.30

1.00

|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
2

Unreal Tournament 2003
4X AA/8X Qual Aniso 1280x960x32
Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

Radeon 9700 Pro

1.30

1.00

|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
2

Unreal Tournament 2003
4X AA/8X Qual Aniso 1600x1200x32
Radeon 9800 Pro (325/310)

Radeon 9700 Pro

1.29

1.00

|
0
|
0
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
1
|
2

At the same clock speeds the new R350 core is no less than 30% faster across the board with 4X AA and 8X Quality Aniso enabled, not too shabby at all. ATI's improvements in their compression algorithms and the memory controller clearly come in handy when AA and Anisotropic filtering are turned on, effectively making the Quality Anisotropic filtering mode a useable option with the Radeon 9800 Pro.

The R350 - A Tweaked R300 ATI's first 0.13-micron GPU - The RV350
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