Recently, the company ATI introduced a release of two new products: Radeon 9800 XT (R360) and Radeon 9600XT. The first product is a top model for the High-End segment and the second item is from the Middle-End area.
The tests for the new Radeon 9800 XT provide much interest as for all video cards of this type. There are some standard approaches for the video adapters testing. Efficient investigations of the Radeon 9800 XT can be performed on the next platform: CPU Pentium 4 3200 MHz, motherboard DFI LANParty Pro875 (i875P), 1024 MB DDR SDRAM. A good choice of the operation system for this purpose is Windows XP SP1, DirectX 9.0a. It is also preferable to use ATI drivers of the version 6.378.
Before testing any video cards, you should note that all modern 3D accelerators possess a different quality for a 2D mode. This quality does not only depend on a video card model, but on a monitor and connecting cables.
The tests of the Radeon 9800 256MB, comparing with the GeForce Fx 5900 Ultra, prove that these video cards have different levels of anisotropic filtering. The NVIDIA video card in the mode ANISO 8x Quality supplies the maximal quality. At the same time, a three linear filtering works efficiently and an anisotropic filtering processes all the surfaces. The ATI in 16x Quality mode has a high precision, but it has a certain decrease of the filtering levels at some surfaces.
A comparative analysis of the video cards ATI Radeon 9800 XT (380/350 (700) MHz, 256 MB DDR) and ASUS V9950 Ultra (GeForce Fx 5900 Ultra, 450/425 (850) HZ, 256 MB DDR, driver 45.23, 51.75) can be of a great interest for all gamers and not only for them.
The testing was performed with OpenGL games: Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Serious Sam, Quake 3 Arena, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Unreal Tournament and Unreal 2: The Awakening. Such settings as a multi-texturing, a level of details and quality were set to the highest values. The testing was done with official (WHQL certified) drivers.
A summary output of all possible testing proves that the Radeon 9800 XT is a leader in 3D graphics for today. The NVIDIA card would be better, but it can depend on a driver's version, since the software can contain some optimizations for the performance increase. Simultaneously, the Radeon 9800 XT is intended to replace not a very successful version - Radeon 9800 PRO 256 MB. These video cards have an announced price. The new video card is going to take the superior position and not only move the previous model one level down.
There is one positive moment for the owners of the video cards Radeon 9800 of older modifications - they can use it without any doubts. New High-End technologies do not provide any significant improvements. The clock rates and performance are not increased to a significant level; thus, there is no sense to make any upgrade.
This way the Radeon video card may be the best choice for the current moment if you are intending to purchase a video card from the High-End segment of market. It is absolutely clear that this new product is not going to disappoint you - the performance and quality are on the highest levels.