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Sharky Extreme : Video cards March 12, 2012
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ATI RADEON 8500 & 7500 Review

By Vince Freeman :  December 3, 2001


For our benchmark evaluation of the RADEON 8500 and 7500 cards, we have included scores using the RADEON 8500 in a number of configurations, including the retail 7191 driver release, as well as with the new 7206 drivers, which fixed certain image quality issues with Quake3 and enabled SMOOTHVISION support. We then lowered the RADEON 8500 core and memory speeds to 250 MHz to give an approximate performance level (using the new 7206 drivers) of the lower-cost, lower clocked OEM version of the card, though no specific benchmark analysis will be given. The RADEON 7500 was tested using its retail 7191 driver revision.

For a reference base, we employed our high-end Pentium 4-2.0 GHz/RDRAM platform. Not only does this help take CPU and memory limitations out of the equation, but offers up comparative gaming performance on one of the hottest rigs you can buy.

To provide adequate competition to the ATI entrants we have also assembled an impressive list of 3D video cards. These include the GeForce3 Ti 500, GeForce3, GeForce3 Ti 200, GeForce2 ULTRA and GeForce2 Ti. This will not only provide a ton of benchmark graph eye-candy, but give us a much better idea on where the RADEON 8500 and 7500 fit into the performance matrix and let us give firm value recommendations as well.

The ATI driver revision used in review comparisons is the latest open release for the RADEON 8500 (4.13.7206) and the RADEON 7500 (4.13.7189). For the NVIDIA cards, the 21.83 Detonator XP drivers were used. For game benchmarks we've taken our usual stable of game benchmarks like Quake 3, Serious Sam, MDK2, and 3DMark 2001, while digging a Direct 3D test out of the SE closet. We also cover some Quake 3 HRAA benchmarks, using a variety of anti-aliasing settings. Please note that due to non-support of several integral RADEON 8500 DirectX 8.x features, we were not able to provide comparable results using the Dronez benchmark.

Please also note that although both the RADEON 8500 and 7500 cards are featured in the benchmark section, we have devoted far more analysis space to the performance of the high-end RADEON 8500 and its enhanced feature set.

Test System

General Settings
Resolution: 1024x768
Color Depth: 16-bit
V-Sync: Disabled

Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 (mPGA 478)
Memory: 256 MB Kingston PC800 RDRAM
Motherboard: Intel D850MD
Motherboard chip set: Intel 850
INTEL specific drivers:
IDE Interface: 6.01.008
AGP Miniport:
ATI RADEON 8500 Drivers: 7191 and 7206
ATI RADEON 7500 Drivers: 7191
NVIDIA reference drivers: 21.83
Hard-Drive: IBM 30GB Deskstar 7200RPM DMA/100
IDE Interface: Ultra ATA/100
Sound: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live
CD/DVD: Panasonic 40X CD-ROM
Power Supply: Antec 300 Watt
Operating System: Windows 98SE

Video Cards:
VisionTek Xtasy 6564 GeForce3 Ti 500
ELSA Gladiac 920 GeForce3
VisionTek Xtasy 6964 GeForce3 Ti 200
NVIDIA Reference GeForce2 ULTRA
VisionTek Xtasy 5864 GeForce2 Ti

Page 1


Page 2

The ATI RADEON 8500 and 7500

Page 3

The ATI RADEON 8500 and 7500 Cards

Page 4

ATI RADEON 8500 and 7500 Specifications

  • Page 5


    Page 6

    Quake3 Performance

    Page 7

    Serious Sam Peformance

    Page 8

    3DMark2001 Performance

    Page 9

    Re-Volt Performance and Benchmark Analysis

    Page 10

    SMOOTHVISION Performance

    Page 11

    Delving Deeper into SMOOTHVISION

    Page 12

    RADEON 8500 Real World Performance

    Page 13

    RADEON 8500 Drivers and Overclocking

    Page 14

    Value and Conclusion