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Sharky Extreme : Video cards August 2, 2004


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    Get the best price on ATI's RADEON 9500 PRO Graphics Card or search for other Performance Upgrades






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    Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro Atlantis 256-MB Review
    By Vince Freeman :  July 29, 2003

    Benchmark Analysis

    The benchmark section outlined the standard trends in comparing a Radeon 9800 Pro 256-MB against the ATI lineup of Radeon 9X00-based cards. In basic 32-bit game testing, the Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 256-MB was not overly taxed, but still managed to take the top spot throughout. Once we moved to higher anti-aliasing and anisotropic detail settings (especially at 1600x1200) the extra memory of the Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 256-MB came into play a bit more, and showed where some of the payoffs may occur with upcoming games.

    Value

    The Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 256-MB can be found at the $460-$470 range for the retail card, and at $450 or lower for the OEM model. This compares to an approximate $390 price tag for their Radeon 9800 Pro 128-MB card, and the $290 range for the Sapphire Radeon 9700 Pro. How this relates to overall value depends on your pocket book and requirements, but this is still high compared to relative performance. Still, those looking to upgrade from a last-gen model, could find the $60+ premium easier to swallow, in return for the fastest ATI-based 3D card.

    * Please note that online prices are taken at the time of review and are not intended to reflect long-term trends.

    Conclusion

    Sapphire is definitely at the top of the ATI food chain, and not only produces quality hardware, but has a huge presence with the retail community. Their Radeon 9800 Pro 256-MB card is another very nice product that fits the required niche and provides the juice for the discerning 3D gamer. The benefit of 256-MB of DDR-II is nominal with current games, but grows larger when higher AF and AA settings are brought into the equation, and is definitely tailored for the tomorrow's games as well.

    Pros:

    • Excellent Performance
    • Higher Relative AA and AF Framerates
    • 256-MB of DDR-II

    Cons:

    • Expensive
    • Current Games Don't Push 256-MB
    • DDR-II Runs Hot

    Ratings:



    Page 1The Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro Atlantis 256-MB Card
    Page 2Performance and Test System
    Page 3Quake 3, Serious Sam 2 & RtCW Performance
    Page 4Jedi Knight II, Comanche 4 & UT 2003 Performance
    Page 5Code Creatures and 3DMark 2001SE/2003 Performance
    Page 6Anti-aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering and Overclocking
  • Page 7Benchmark Analysis, Value and Conclusion

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