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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

Quake 3 Performance

Quake 3 remains the de facto 3D game benchmark here at SE, and due to its highly repeatable results, it is still one of the best methods of comparing different video cards. In this test suite we match up the ATI RADEON 8550 and 7550 against the crop of NVIDIA GeForce3 and GeForce2 cards using demo001 and the default Normal and High Quality settings, as well as ramping up the detail levels to full in our special MAX setting.

The first thing we notice is the difference in Quake 3 framerates between the initial RADEON 8500 driver revision and the newest version. ATI definitely had Quake 3 image quality issues with the 7191 driver (as we saw by running the RADEON 8500 and GeForce3 on monitors side-by-side) but the new 7206 driver has cleared these up for the most part. What is surprising is that ATI only lost a few fps overall even with the higher image quality, which points to some OpenGL/Quake 3 improvements in the newest driver.

In Quake 3 Normal benchmarking, the RADEON 8500 didn't show as much low-rez juice as the NVIDIA cards, but came on strong at 1024x768 and 1600x1200. Here it edged out the GeForce3 and provided some real competition for the higher-end GeForce3 Ti 500. The performance of the RADEON 7500 was a bit disappointing, as it failed to match the GeForce2 performance and posted low 16-bit scores.

Moving up to High Quality testing, the story remains the same for the RADEON 8500. It just can't match the GeForce3 Ti 500 frame for frame, but actually extends its high-rez lead over the GeForce3. The RADEON 7500 posted better numbers under High Quality settings, losing very little in the transition to 32-bit. This is one case where "one resolution fits all" benchmarking may not work, as the RADEON 7500 displays some interesting characteristics when viewed across the spectrum of resolution and detail level testing.

Even at full-bore Quake 3 MAX settings, the RADEON 8500 isn't able to move up in the 640x480 scores, but it does come exceedingly close to the GeForce3 Ti 500's results at both 1024x768 and 1600x1200. At these resolutions it simply leaves the GeForce3 in the dust and shows that the RADEON 8500 has some serious horsepower under the hood. Once again the RADEON 7500 loses very little in moving to MAX settings and closes the gap with the GeForce2 boards.

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