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ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 8X AGP Videocard Review

ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 8X AGP Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The card has support for 8X AGP and is also equipped with 128MB DDR RAM using a 256-bit memory interface. This provides over 20GB/s of bandwidth which is pretty jaw dropping in itself.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ATI Oct 15 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ATI Radeon 9700 Pro

Smoothvision 2.0 - Wicked graphics

These days games can't just run well, they have to look amazing too. More and more gamers are turning on Anti Aliasing and Anisotropic filtering to improve the image quality and the thirst for life like images is not soon to fade. ATI have incorporated multi-sampling AA into Smoothvision 2.0! Every gamer knows the significance of multi sampling AA. 3dfx was pushing multi sampling AA very hard just before they went under, they claimed that the performance penalty was not as severe as Super Sampling AA and the image quality was better. Let's touch on the older Super Sampling first though.

Super Sampling basically renders an image at a much higher resolution then scales it down. This is the same AA that we've seen the last little while in both nVidia and ATi videocards so we're pretty familiar with how that works.

Multi Sampling AA is totally different from Super Sampling. Multi Sampling does not require a videocard to render the image at a much higher resolution. Rather, Multi Sampling looks at the colour of each individual pixel to determine how much of the triangle (remember triangles make up all the structures you see on the screen) is shown in a given pixel.

It then compares how much of the triangle is shown, and how much of the background is shown, Based on that information it will blend between those two colours. This form of AA is much faster then Super Sampling, but because it works at a triangle level it does not require the videocard to render the image at higher resolutions. ATI claims that because Multi Sampling works on a triangle level, the image quality may not be as good however.

Anyone who plays racing games or simulators knows that in the foreground, objects are not as detailed, when AA is enabled this is even worse because AA usually makes the scene a bit blurrier.

Image Quality with the ATI R300

Which vide ochipset/GPU has the better image quality has been debated since the dawn of time, and the only real way to get the answers is to look for yourself. Let's take a few screen shots...

If you look at the ground or far center rock both are clearly more detailed then on the image to the right. Both images use a setting of 2x AA and 8x AF, can you guess which graphics processor is responsible for each image? Hint; the image on the left is from the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro and the image from the right is MSI Nvidia GeForce4 Ti4600 using Detonator 30.82 drivers.

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Contents of Article: ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
 Pg 1.  ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 8X AGP Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  Cooling 107 million Transisitors & Overclocking
 Pg 3.  ATI R300 Core Technology
 Pg 4.  Vertex Processing Engine and more
 Pg 5.  — Smoothvision 2.0 - Wicked graphics
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: 3DMark 2001SE
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: AquaMark 2.3
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Codecreatures
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001SE AA
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena AA
 Pg 14.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001SE AF
 Pg 15.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena AF
 Pg 16.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001SE AF and AA
 Pg 17.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena AF and AA

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