Lightning Fast, and CPU Bound

The high performance of cards like the Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition dictate that, even on today's fastest CPUs, they will be CPU bound at resolutions lower than 1600 x 1200. To prove this we've taken three GPU limited benchmarks, Half Life 2, Doom 3 and Far Cry, and showed their performance scaling vs. resolution using the X850 XT PE on an Athlon 64 4000+:

So what does this tell us? It tells us that these high end cards are CPU bound up until 1280 x 1024. It is only at 1280 x 1024 that the X850 XT PE becomes GPU limited and even more so at 1600 x 1200. It's for this reason that we conducted all of our performance tests today at 1600 x 1200.

ASUS nForce4 A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 4000+
1GB Corsair DDR400

NVIDIA ForceWare 67.02 Drivers
ATI Beta Catalyst Drivers 8.08-041111a-019256E (no Catalyst version has been assigned to this package yet)
Windows XP Service Pack 2 with DirectX 9.0c

All performance tests were run at 1600 x 1200, some benchmarks were also run at 1600 x 1200 with 4X AA and 8X AF enabled.

To continue our recent trend of looking at head to head comparisons between GPUs first and then looking at the broad spectrum of performance we begin by evaluating the impact of each one of ATI's new GPUs individually starting with the flagship, the Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition.

The New ATI Lineup ATI's Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition
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  • dripgoss - Tuesday, December 7, 2004 - link

    "pricing for the "high end" cards is utterly ridiculous..."

    The rules of supply and demand are in full effect here. When the card companies see people selling X800XTPE's and 6800U's on ebay for $600-$800, they feel justified MSRPing at $500+. Basically, they do it because they can!

    What I'd like to see is one of the companies take the initiative and release a high end card at $300 (and have the supply to back up the launch). That'll make the other gpu companies scramble. But I doubt that'll happen any time soon since they're all just riding high on the hog right now...
  • MadAd - Monday, December 6, 2004 - link

    1920x1200 GAMING BENCHES PLEASE! :¬)
  • Thatguy97 - Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - link

    It's amazing looking at what treat you people were in for.
  • Live - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    It looks like using the Catalyst A.I. optimizations will let the X850 XT PE tie and even surpass the 6800GT in DOOM 3.

    From the conclusion at

    When you look at the R480 part we've tested today and compare it to NVIDIA's current high end PCIe offerings, the winner is ATI on every front. With Catalyst A.I. enabled, the ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition is able to at least tie, but usually outperform the 6800GT in Doom 3 tests. In our other game tests, the results all swing in ATI's favor, with the ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition fastest in every other test.

    the ATI part cost a lot more tough but still interesting stuff. hopefully we will read more about this as these cards hit retail. If there is no visible quality penalties I don't see any reason to not include these figures in future tests.
  • Thatguy97 - Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - link

  • Live - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    It's good to see that AnandTech uses an AMD CPU when testing a card for gaming. Many other sites still uses Intel which seems stupid after the same sites have been crowning AMD CPUs the king of gaming for a long time now.

    I still would like to see some indication of the lowest frame rates or at least some way of seeing the consistency of this average frame rate. If a card shows FPS just over 30 in Doom 3 it might be playable if the FPS is evenly spread. But if it jumps up when not fighting and down to rock bottom while you are its hard to call it playable, even if the average frame rates are the same.
  • bldckstark - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    I think maybe Tech sites should stop publishing articles on pre-market parts. That way they would have to have parts available on store shelves or they get no publicity. I am a motorcycle enthusiast also and it is almost the same type of hobby in that you don't get to try what you are buying. You are dependent on the media to test and poke and prod to find the ins and outs of all the options, then you sift through and go buy it. Motorcycle media does not test pre-production machines.

    Know what you get if you cross Bill Gates and Hugh Hefner?

    Already happened - it's called internet porn.
  • fuzzynavel - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    They charge $500 because they can....If people stopped buying them then they would have to drop the prices....but seeing as people keep paying then they are not going to drop the prices!
  • rslayerr - Thursday, December 2, 2004 - link

    well...just a little comments,well,i dont understand why people always say that ati's high end card are not in store,,,etc...
    well im in quebec,canada and here..i can buy those almost everywhere...look like you guys are from the "states?"?must have some kind of advantage here since ati his canadian..or maybe a question of number of population..
  • Googer - Thursday, December 2, 2004 - link

    Reminds me of the ATI 9700pro, It's a GeForece Killer!

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