ATI Radeon 9700 Pro - Delivering as Promisedby Anand Lal Shimpi on August 19, 2002 8:00 AM EST
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We conclude our benchmark investigation of ATI's Radeon 9700 Pro with our usual CPU scaling test. Here's a quick refresher about how we test CPU salability:
Our goal with these tests was to isolate CPU clock speed as the only variable, not cache sizes, not architectures, not FSB speeds, only clock speed. In order to achieve this we took an Athlon XP 2100+ and unlocked it so that we could adjust the clock multiplier. We kept the FSB set at 133MHz and adjusted the multiplier from 6.0x, yielding an 800MHz clock speed, up to the default 13x multiplier. Although this method produces some unofficial and unavailable processor/FSB/clock speed combinations, it serves our needs perfectly. So although a 800MHz Athlon XP processor running on a 133MHz FSB won’t be directly comparable to a genuine Athlon running at 800MHz, you’ll at least get an idea of what a CPU around that speed would give you, performance-wise.
In order to deal with the fact that the Radeon 9700 ends up being CPU bound at resolutions as high as 1024x768, we chose two resolutions to run the tests at - 1024x768 and 1280x1024.
Before the 933MHz mark, the Ti 4600 is actually faster than the Radeon 9700 Pro; slower PCs should definitely not be equipped with the Radeon 9700 Pro, you would not be getting your money's worth. It isn't really until you reach the 1.33 - 1.40GHz mark that the 9700 Pro really begins to pull away.
At higher resolutions, the difference between the cards is more pronounced thanks to the Radeon 9700 Pro's incredible memory bandwidth.