Counterstrike: Source Visual Stress Test

This time around, we look at a game where ATI has had a long time in the lime light. Valve has pushed Radeon cards as the way to go for Source engine based games, DirectX 9.0 based game engines have tended to favor ATI hardware at least as much as OpenGL has favored NVIDIA hardware. As such, the x800 Pro outperforms the 6600GT by a good ammount. The 9800 Pro is still lagging a good bit behind, which is a good sign for those who want an intermediate AGP upgrade and don't want to wait. People who have owned top of the line cards can get a performance improvement for midrange prices.

Counterstrike: Source Visual Stress Test

While the x800 Pro and 6800 GT scale about the same, the 6600GT does drop off a bit faster. The card does maintain a comfortable margine above the 9800 Pro though.

The older high end card can handle AA better than the 6600GT, and so scales a little better with resolution under 4xAA and the Source VST. At 1280x1024 the 9800 Pro very nearly catches up to the 6600GT.


Doom 3 Performance Unreal Tournament 2004 Performance


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  • ShadowVlican - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - link

    seems like #28 got pwned... think AGP ^_-

    very nice review Anand, it's quite astonishing how fast technology can grow isn't it? with the "top" cards of the last generation being eaten by this generation's top mid card... i'm looking forward to your next review when you have your vanilla 6800!
  • Speedo - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - link

    Hmm... I also agree with you people, which wonder if an upgrade to a faster graphics card would help and if you perhaps already are CPU limited.

    One way of checking the "status" of your current system is to play around with resolutions for a given game. For example, lets say you normally play UT2004 at 1024x768. Try setting the resolution to 512x384 and see where your framerates go. You will not probably go much above that, no matter how fast video card you upgrade to.

    You can also try upping the resolution one step from what you are usually using. If the framerate drops a lot, you would probably benefit from an upgrade.

    I know this doesn't tell *which* new card you should get. But if your low-res test shows that your CPU can deliver double the framerate, then a good balance could be to upgrade to a card that is at least double as fast as your current one.

    In my own system I seem to have a pretty good balance right now, with a 9800pro(xt mod) & barton@2.3Ghz.
  • bigpow - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - link

    I agree with the previous commentators.

    Most of us are stuck with our older generation platform, say P4 2.4c or AthlonXP 1700+ or 2500+

    Where's the result for these platforms, AT?

    Most of us (see above) will decide whether it is worth it to upgrade to 6600GT if we see these numbers.

    AT, step up and beat the competition.
    Don't be lazy and just compare with the expensive and uncommon FX CPU.
  • Ender17 - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Those charts with the precentages are awesome!! and the head to stuff was great as well. Keep up the good work and try to get us that head to head with the 6800nu. Reply
  • Niatross - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Even when he's cpu limited he's limited by an FX-55 not an XP Barton. Yea I wonder how many 1000 dollar cpu systems have a 200 dollar card?

    Yea he's showing the cards abilities off well by using an FX-55 but it TELLS me nothing about what my experiance might be. I would just like to see what it would run like on the average machine. I said before that I've seen this hashed out many times on various sites and I see the value of the way it's usually done, just wishing I had my way (STOMP,STOMP BOO HOO,(LOL) I guess ;-) J
  • ciwell - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Maybe an article/chart that lists the CPUs from the past couple of years and the theoretical GPU to go along with it that would MAX out, given a CPU bottleneck or what-not. Reply
  • navsimpson - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    While I get why the fastest CPU must be used to prevent CPU bottlenecking, what I don't understand is why someone who can afford a $1000 processor would buy a $200 video card and not shell out the extra 100 or so bucks to move up a notch. These reviews end up being technically sound - we do our best to see what the cards are actually capable of - but of much less consequence to those of us looking to figure out what cards to buy. Will it be worth it to get a 6600gt or would a 9600xt max out the performance of my Athlon 2600? That's what I - and a heck of a lot of other people - want to know. Reply
  • Pete - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Derek emerged from his underground bunker! Now that you've recovered enough to type ;), can you verify and maybe explain those 9700P Far Cry numbers? Reply
  • nserra - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    #57 ciwell

    What is really funny is that nvidia almost didn’t beat a 2 year old card!
    And that a similar hardware 5900 (to some people) at that time some even say it was better is in the ground.
    Where are the 5900 PS2.0+ and VS2.0+?

    This is the anandtech 5900 test conclusion:

    “From the ATI camp the $499 Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB, just like the NV35, is a difficult purchase to justify; even more difficult in this case because the GeForceFX 5900 Ultra does outperform it in a number of tests.”

    Where is the 5900 in all the benches? Who have bought an nvidia 5900 based on those comments?
  • ciwell - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    I find it funny how nVidia has beaten ATI to the punch and the fanbois are coming out of the woodwork. :D Reply

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