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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [07.29.03]
Manufactured by: Hightech Information Systems

Est. Street Price: ~$350-370

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Put To The Test...

Alright, let's get to what you really want to see: performance.  For the purposes of this performance test, we'll be benchmarking against the prior ATI top end model; the Radeon 9700.  Everything will be run on my usual primary rig consisting of:

Processor: AMD Athlon XP Throughbred "B" 1700+ @ 2.0GHz (2400+)
Motherboard: Asus A7N8X nVidia nForce2
Memory: 2x256MB Kingston HyperX PC3500
Hard Drive: Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 200GB 7200rpm 8MB cache

CATALYST Version: of Catalyst 3.5 Driver Suite

We'll be using the following to push the cards to the limit:

Serious Sam: Second Encounter
Comanche 4 Demo
Quake III Arena


Even with the controversy surrounding Futuremark these days (mostly on the part of video card manufacturers, I might add...), there's no doubt that the 3DMark programs are still some of the most useful tools around for video card benchmarking if used correctly.

As you can see, the 9800 Pro easily puts some distance between it and it's older sibling and we can see the results of the improvements in the GPU architecture in our 3DMark tests.  While it is not all that apparent how much the F-buffer affected the Pixel Shader 2.0 score since the test could have simply been influenced by the higher clocks but given a bit more time, we'll see it utilized more.

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