The Candidates and System Setup

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Radeon 9700 Radeon 9500 FX5600 FX5200 Ti4800SE
Manufacturer Soft-modded R9500 Sapphire Tech. MSI MSI MSI
Memory (MB) 128 128 128 128 128
Pipelines 8 4 1 1 4
Memory Interface (bits) 256 128 128 128 128
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) 17.6 8.8 11.2 6.4 8.8
(Billion AA Texels/s)
15.6 6.6 1.4 1 4.4
Manufacturing Process (microns) 0.15 0.15 0.13 0.15 0.15
Core Clock (MHz) 275 275 270 250 275
Memory Clock (MHz) 270 270 275 200 275
Street Price (USD) ~$230 ~$130 ~$140 ~$80 ~$150
Category Range Mid-high Mid Mid Low/Budget Mid

System Setup:
  • MSI KT4 Ultra with BIOS v1.4 (VIA KT400 chipset)
  • AMD Athlon XP1800+ @ 166MHz x10
  • 512MB PC2700 @166MHz (2-3-3-6T-Fast)
  • LinkSys LNE530TX 10/100 LAN
  • Turtle Beach Santa Cruz PCI Sound Card
Software Setup:

  • Windows 2000 Pro + SP3
  • ATI Catalyst 3.5 with softmod for Radeon 9500-9700 conversion
    • Everything set to “Quality”
  • NVIDIA Detonator 44.03
    • Everything set to “Quality”

  • Age of Mythology
  • Freelancer
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Unreal Tournament 2003: CTF-Face3, DM-Asbestos flyby.
  • 3DMark 2001 SE v230
  • 3DMark 2003 v330
  • Image Qulity: Unreal Tournament 2003: CTF-HallOfAnubis (Unofficial Map)


  • Radeon cards do not have a quincux, “4XS”, “6XS” or 8X anti-aliasing modes as seen on the FX5600/5200 and Ti4800SE (where supported).
  • Ti4800SE, and FX5600/5200 do not have 16x anisotropic filtering setting as seen on the Radeon 9500/9700.
  • “6XS” anti-aliasing setting used for the FX5600 for 6x anti-aliasing tests.
  • Results from Morrowind, Freelancer, and Age of Mythology were measured using FRAPS.
  • Screen captures were taken using HyperSnapDX 5.11.01.

Benchmark Numbers
Where applicable I have categorized benchmarks into a resolution group: 1024×768, 1280×1024, or 1600×1200. Each of these groups has combinations of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering options. Unlike previous video card reviews here at AMDMB, we will only report the average number of frames per second and exclude the minimum and maximum rates.


  • AA, Anti-aliasing
    An algorithm that gives the illusion that an edge in 3D space is rendered with a finer grid than in reality (aka. “removes the jaggies”). AA is more important at lower resolutions since a rendered line has fewer pixels and therefore more jaggy. Higher the AA sampling level, the nicer and sharper edges appear, but usually at the cost of the hardware’s performance.

  • ##xAA
    Notation used to indicate an antialiasing sampling level. i.e. 2xAA means “Two times antialiasing sampling level”.

  • AF, Anisotropic Filtering
    The sharpening of textures as it recedes away from the viewer. Higher the AF sampling level, the nicer and sharper textures appear in the distance, but usually at the cost of the hardware’s performance.

  • ##xAF
    Notation used to indicate an anisotropic filtering sampling level. i.e. 2xAF means “Two times anisotropic filtering level”.

  • AAxAF
    Notation used to indicate an anti-aliasing/anisotropic filtering pair. Example, “2×4” means that anti-aliasing is set to 2x and anisotropic filtering set to 4x.

  • FPS, Frames per second
    The number of frames rendered by the video hardware per second. Higher the number, the smoother things appear. Ideally you want this number to be as high as possible, but in some cases consumers prefer to have higher details for a nicer image and sacrifice some performance.
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