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    ATI Radeon 9600 XT Review
    By Vince Freeman :  October 16, 2003

    Quake 3: Arena Performance

    Quake 3 is the de facto 3D game benchmark here at Sharky Extreme, and due to its highly repeatable results, it is still one of the most popular methods of comparing different video cards. In this test suite we match up the video cards using version 1.30 and the included demo Four. Quake 3 benchmarks were run with the default High Quality options and the in-game detail levels ramped to maximum in our special MAX setting.

    The Quake 3 MAX results show the Radeon 9600 XT hitting the 200 fps mark, which is quite good for a mid-range video card, and well ahead of the competing cards. The 20 fps lead over the Radeon 9600 Pro may not seem that large, but the higher 1280x1024 MAX setting takes it toll at this level.

    Quake 3: Arena AA and AF Performance

    Once we enable the 2X anti-aliasing and 4X anisotropic filtering settings, the Radeon 9600 XT continues to hold a nice lead, and while the framerates naturally decrease, the relative performance remains steady.

    Return to Castle Wolfenstein Performance

    Return to Castle Wolfenstein is another Quake engine game, but with some notable differences. The basic game engine may be the same, but the graphics, gameplay and the stress it puts on a 3D card are very different. Until Doom III appears, RtCW is the next best way to determine high-end Quake engine performance. We have employed the Checkpoint MP demo for our testing, using the default High Quality settings.

    Although Return to Castle Wolfenstein uses a variant of the game engine, it is a more is a more rigorous test than Quake 3. This is borne out in the benchmark testing, and the Radeon 9600 XT continues to be in front, but the framerate advantage dips below 10 fps.

    Return to Castle Wolfenstein AA and AF Performance

    The anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering tests show a lower drop than Quake 3, and in turn, the Radeon 9600 XT maintains a higher relative lead over the Radeon 9600 Pro.

    Page 1 The ATI Radeon 9600 XT 128-MB Card
    Page 2 Performance and Test System
  • Page 3 Quake 3 & Return to Castle Wolfenstein Performance
    Page 4 Wolfenstein: ET & Comanche 4 Performance
    Page 5 3DMark 2001, Code Creatures & GunMetal Performance
    Page 6 Unreal Tournament 2003 Performance
    Page 7 AquaMark 3 & 3DMark 2003 Performance
    Page 8 Benchmark Analysis, Value and Conclusion

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