ViewPerf 7.1, UT2003

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ViewPerf 7.1, UT2003

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 97 SPEC ViewPerf 7.1

SPEC ViewPerf uses industry standard applications (like 3DS Max and Pro/Engineer) to create a benchmark that measures real-world professional performance. This benchmark is purely OpenGL based and gives a good sense of how graphics hardware performs in rendering applications. For gamers, this benchmark would give you an idea of raw OpenGL performance, but is a poor reflection of actual game play.


Asus Radeon 9800XT

NVIDIA FX5950 Ultra

Softmod R9500

3DS Max
11.8 14 9.74
Design Review
37.42 51.75 37.43
Data Explorer
71.69 58.83 66.48
13.03 14.51 13.01
14 12.85
23.68 8.504 22.86

The Asus Radeon 9800XT has mixed results here compared to the FX5950U. We can see that 9800XT only beats the FX5950U in two of the tests but by a very significant margin. On the other hand, the FX5950U beats the 9800XT by slimmer margins except in the Design Review benchmark. It’s hard to conclude which of these two cards are superior since it depends on the application being run.

Curiously enough, the results of the softmod Radeon 9500 are very similar to the much more expensive 9800XT. Could it be that if you’re a professional, you’re better off saving money to buy a mid-range Radeon? Also, with the similarity in results, will the 9800XT perform similarly in OpenGL games? You will have to wait to see our Homeworld 2 and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy results to judge.

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 98 Unreal Tournament 2003

Even though Unreal Tournament 2003 is a honest-to-god game, the benchmark feature that many reviews use is synthetic because it is not what a user experiences in a real game. However, this doesn’t mean it still isn’t relevant. The benchmark does show us how well hardware perform with the game’s engine and gives you a rough idea of what you can expect in an online match (I mentally subtract 10 FPS from the results to give me a better rough estimate of real game performance with real players).

Benchmark Configuration
Skin and Texture Details Ultra High
Effects (i.e. coronas, decals) All enabled
Anisotropic Filtering Specified through LevelOfAnisotropy variable

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 99

At 1024×768, we see that the Asus Radeon 9800XT performs a bit better than the FX5950 Ultra. At 2×0 the Asus has a lead of about 10FPS which is pretty significant from a performance perspective. However, if you’re taking the view of actually playability, it’s just minor details and doesn’t mean too much. Both the FX5950U and the Asus Radeon 9800XT play UT2K3 very well! At 4×8 we see both cards push out results over 100 FPS with the highest details. Simply amazing.

What is also interesting are the performance numbers of the Radeon 9500 softmod. Compared to its more modern and more expensive sibling, the R9500 softmod still performs decently and the difference between the two isn’t reflective of an extra $250 USD in my opinion. But before I put my foot into my mouth, let’s look at 1600×1200 results.

Asus Radeon 9800XT/TVD - Graphics Cards 100

No, you’re not seeing double here or looking at the graph through 3D glasses, what we see here is the Asus Radeon 9800XT and FX5950 Ultra nearly mirroring each other in performance. Sure the Asus appears to have a slim lead, but when the difference is within 5 FPS and frame rates exceeding 100 FPS , it ceases to have much significance. At 4×8 we see the Asus Radeon 9800XT perform well with 60FPS, but may be too low for real-world multiplayer gaming.

Compared to the Softmod Radeon 9500, we finally see what an extra $250 USD buys you – about double the performance! So from what I can gather here in the UT2K3 benchmark, the Radeon 9800XT may not be worth buying if you only game at 1024×768. To get your money’s worth, you must play at high rez since that is where the difference is.

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