Articles: Graphics

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Testbed and Methods

We used the following testbed:

  • Intel Pentium 4 3066MHz CPU;
  • Gigabyte 8INXP (Intel E7205 chipset) mainboard;
  • 512MB DDR SDRAM;
  • Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB HDD;
  • NEC 19’ FP970 display;
  • ATI drivers ver.6.307;
  • Windows XP SP1.

Drivers settings were left by default, with a single exception: we turned off Vsync and set texture level of detail (LOD) in OpenGL to High Quality.

The results were compared to those of the following graphics cards:

  • ASUS V9170 (GeForce4 MX440 with AGP8x, 64MB, drivers ver.43.45);
  • Sapphire Atlantis RADEON 9000, 128MB;
  • Sapphire Atlantis RADEON 9000 PRO, 128MB;
  • ATI RADEON 8500LE, 128MB;
  • ATI RADEON 8500LE, 64MB.


It’s clear that both reviewed cards show a predictable level of performance. They are nearly leaders among their rivals. Why nearly? Note that RADEON 8500LE 128MB with BGA memory is still ahead, while 128MB RADEON 9100 is even slower than its 64MB mate! Why? The answer is simple: look at the snapshots of the memory chips above, they are 16bit ones in both cards. Eight chips give us 128bit exactly. RADEON 8500LE 128MB, on the contrary, has 32-bit chips and thus enables interleave.

The situation here is absolutely the same as in the previous case.

Here the results are also very similar to what we had above. Only in the highest 1600x1200 resolution RADEON 9000 PRO nearly catches up with RADEON 9100.

This test depends on fast shaders processing a lot. RADEON 9000/PRO is better at such things than RADEON 8500/9100. That’s why both RADEON 9100 cards and RADEON 9000 PRO do equally fast in Game4. Note also, how far ahead RADEON 8500LE 128MB has got.

So, summing it all up, we see that RADEON 8500LE 64MB and RADEON 9100 64MB are one and the same thing. 128MB RADEON 9100 is somewhat slower, probably because of less aggressive memory timings. Both cards tested today lag behind RADEON 8500LE 128MB, but prove true to their new name, outperforming RADEON 9000/PRO in every test.

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