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Sapphire Radeon 9700 Atlantis Pro Review - Page 4 of 6

QUAKE 3 PERFORMANCE

Although the Quake 3 engine has been around for a number of years now, it is still being used in a number of today's games. Thanks to strategic and creative coding, developers have been able to create games with graphics which are well beyond the original game the engine was developed for. With a crop of games utilizing the engine in a multitude of different ways, we can benchmark the card and make an educated assumption of its strong points and weaknesses.

For each benchmark, every visual setting was maximized. This includes running at a 32-bit color depth at all times. Given the power of the latest generation of cards, there seems to be little need to sacrifice image quality by selecting 16-bit color.

Using the latest patch release, I was able to utilize timedemo four to record accurate results for each setting. It should be noted that although the engine is beginning to show its age as far as visual quality is concerned, maximum image quality settings still manage to drag average frame rates below the "standard goal" of 60fps at 1600*1200.

Quake 3

Quake 3 - Average Frame Rate

Resolution No AA
No Aniso
6X AA
No Aniso
6X AA
16X Aniso
Maximum Graphics Quality
1024x768 141 137 136
1280x1024 138 114 107
1600x1200 136 63 53

JEDI KNIGHT 2 PERFORMANCE

Jedi Knight 2 testing consisted of proceeding through the initial level until the first checkpoint was reached. Looking at the benchmark results, we see how the CPU is acting as a major bottleneck in this case. Itís not until we enable maximum antialiasing settings at 1600*1200 that there is a discernable performance difference between each resolution.

I was particularly impressed with the fact that the frame rate remained above 70fps at a 1280*1024 with maximum image quality settings enabled. As one can imagine, the overall appearance of the visuals with these settings is amazing. Having the ability to see such quality while maintaining a high frame rate was an unexpected, but welcome surprise.

Jedi Knight 2

Jedi Knight 2 - Average Frame Rate

Resolution No AA
No Aniso
6X AA
No Aniso
6X AA
16X Aniso
Maximum Graphics Quality
1024x768 77 77 77
1280x1024 75 73 73
1600x1200 73 56 41

BATTLEFIELD 1942 PERFORMANCE

Mirroring the same scenario seen within the Jedi Knight 2 benchmarks, each resolution shares roughly the same average frames rate. Once we enable antialiasing at 1600*1200, a noticeable performance hit occurs and the scores begin to differ. It should be noted that the "CPU time to given AI" setting was 15% in order to minimize the adverse effects of the slower processor.

Looking at the scores without any image quality settings enabled, we see that this game requires a very fast processor. Despite the power of the Radeon 9700 Pro, the processor bottlenecks the frame rate to a low of 61fps at a resolution of 1024*768. To the cardís credit, enabling 6X antialiasing caused no noticeable drop in performance. Furthermore, enabling maximum image quality settings only cut 11fps from the default frame rate.

Battlefield 1942

Battlefield 1942 - Average Frame Rate

Resolution No AA
No Aniso
6X AA
No Aniso
6X AA
16X Aniso
Maximum Graphics Quality
1024x768 61 61 50
1280x960 60 45 35
1600x1200 58 17 11

NEED FOR SPEED HOT PURSUIT 2 PERFORMANCE

Being only a few days old, the Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 demo provided me with a great opportunity to see how the card would handle upcoming games and a variety of different engines (no pun intended).

The US demo restricts the resolution to 1280*1024 and below. Initially, I expected high benchmark scores since the higher resolutions were not available to stress the system. However, I was surprised to see how taxing the gameís engine truly was. Here, average scores never reached 70fps despite the low resolution. This is certainly due to the lack of processor speed, though it is certainly interesting to see the massive hit enhanced image quality settings introduce when employed.

NFS Hot Pursuit 2 Demo

NFS Hot Pursuit 2 - Average / Minimum Frame Rate

Resolution No AA
No Aniso
6X AA
No Aniso
6X AA
16X Aniso
Maximum Graphics Quality
1024x768 67 / 42 29 / 14 28 / 13
1280x1024 64 / 40 20 / 12 19 / 12

Next Page - ChameleonMark, UT2003, NOLF 2


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Last Updated on October 28, 2002

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