Test Configuration

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

Test Configuration


Our benchmark system today features ATI’s and NVIDIA’s latest top-end chipsets, the Radeon 9800XT and the FX5950 Ultra respectively. I have also chosen to throw in the Radeon 9500 softmod as a point of reference so you can see where mid-range Radeon products would rank.

Motherboard ABIT NF7-S rev 2.0 (nForce2-Ultra400 chipset)
Processor Athlon XP 3200+
RAM 2×256 Corsair Platinum DDR400 (2-2-2-6)
Hard drive Western Digital 120GB WD1200BB
Operating System Windows XP + SP1
Video Cards

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD
NVIDIA FX5950 Ultra (reference design)
Softmod Radeon 9500

NVIDIA Driver ForceWare 52.16
ATI Driver Catalyst 3.9


Synthetic Tests

Synthetic Tests is what we’ve all come to know as a “benchmark”. They are fabricated graphical events that are used to simulate a consumer’s experience with graphics hardware. However, synthetic benchmarks are a poor representation of what is being experienced in reality, but are useful for making good concrete comparisons of cards on similarly configured systems. Tests like Aquamark 3, and Unreal Tournament 2003, though based on real games and real game engines, are synthetic since the events are fabricated and never controlled by the user.

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 97

Aquamark 3
(Massive Development)

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 98

3DMark 03 v340
3DMark 2001SE


Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 99 ViewPerf 7.1
(Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation)
Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 100

Unreal Tournament 2003
(Digital Extremes, Atari)


Game Performance Tests

The results in this section of the review are taken from actual game play. FRAPS was used to measure the frame rate as I played each game on each piece of hardware. We’ve been doing this for a long time here and I’m happy to see more hardware sites spending the time to do the same.

However, because the numbers are recorded in actual in-game sessions, the numbers recorded may not be what you’ve come to expect from a standard benchmark (i.e. synthetic test). There will be instances where the numbers recorded don’t follow a “nice” trend line or exhibit some minor deviations. This is to be expected since each test run on a card in any given game will not be 100% identical to previous tests (like in a synthetic benchmark). We endeavor to reproduce the best results in any given instance and minimize these anomalies.

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 101 Age of Mythology: The Titans
(Ensemble Studios, Microsoft)
Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 102 Freelancer
(Digital Anvil, Microsoft)
Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 103 Halo: Combat Evolved
(Bungie/GearBox, Microsoft)
Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 104 Homeworld 2
(Relic Entertainment, Vivendi Universal)
Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 105

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
(Raven, LucasArts)

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 106 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
(Bethesda Softworks, Ubi Soft)


Subjective Tests

Subjective tests is where I use my own eyes to compare image quality for different settings on a given piece of hardware. They are subjective because the comments and conclusions I make are based on my own personal experience and may not reflect what you perceive. This is why we provide links to the images used so you can judge for yourself.

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 107

Anti-aliasing quality:

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 108 Texturing quality:
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