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    ASUS Radeon 9600XT/TVD 128-MB Review
    By Vince Freeman :  April 16, 2004

    GunMetal Performance

    GunMetal is another DirectX 9 benchmark test, and uses the basic game engine (think Manga-based armor) to really stress a video card's subsystem. This is another very rough 3D game test that uses 2X AA as default, so don't be surprised at the relatively low framerate scores, or the small difference when 4X AF is added to the mix.

    GunMetal is a game test where NVIDIA has historically performed better than ATI, and it doesn't change in this comparison. In fact, even the basic GeForce FX 5700 posts higher-than ASUS Radeon 9600XT/TVD scores, and it looks like the NVIDIA GPU itself is better suited to Gunmetal testing.

    Overclocking and Performance

    HyperDrive dynamic overclocking, which is really just the ASUS term for ATI OverDrive, is really just one facet of the ASUS Radeon 9600XT/TVD. The Smart Doctor II program also allows manual overclocking, using core and memory slider bars in the program itself. This method works like a charm, and there was never stability or performance issues concerning the auto-loading and resident Smart Doctor II program.

    The only issue we could find is the relatively low maximum overclock values for the ASUS Radeon 9600XT/TVD, which topped out at 530 MHz core and 650 MHz memory. These are certainly nice overclock numbers, but for a "built for speed" card like the ASUS Radeon 9600XT/TVD, it is a tad disappointing. The maximum clock and memory speeds were achieved without breaking a sweat, although we were able to hit near 550 MHz core and 700 MHz memory using alternative methods.

    Since this an ASUS product review, concerned with evaluating the ASUS Radeon 9600XT/TVD and software, we tested overclocking performance using the Smart Doctor II program, and with 530 MHz core and 650 MHz memory speeds. A selection of game tests have been used, as well as breaking the results down into the same standard (with OD/HD enabled) and 2X AA/4X AF settings we used in the main review.

    The first overclocking chart covers off the standard game testing, and demonstrates once again that Quake 3 scales very well to higher clock speeds. The high Unreal Tournament 2004 increase was a bit of a surprise, and this is one game that really benefits from a bit more video card juice. On the flip side, we have Halo and AquaMark 3, which did increase, but didn't really show us any serious framerate improvement.

    The next chart enables 2X anti-aliasing and 4X anisotropic filtering modes, and it's still the usual suspects at the top of the chart. UT 2004, Quake 3 and 3DMark 2003 show the greatest improvement, and even AquaMark 3 gives us a higher framerate jump under these conditions. Halo is the only one abstaining, and its framerate percentage actually drops with AA and AF enabled.

    Page 1 The ASUS Radeon 9600XT/TVD 128-MB Card
    Page 2 Performance and Test System
    Page 3 Quake 3, Wolf: ET & Comanche 4 Performance
    Page 4 UT 2003, UT 2004 & Halo Performance
    Page 5 X2 Demo, 3DMark 2003 & AquaMark 3 Performance
  • Page 6 GunMetal Performance & Overclocking
    Page 7 Benchmark Analysis, IQ, Value and Conclusion

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