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Sapphire Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review

Sapphire Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Sapphire includes all of the complementary hardware you need, including a power extension, a DVI-to-VGA adapter, and an S-Video-to-composite adapter for output to a television.
 79% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Sapphire Feb 03 2004   Chris Angelini  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Sapphire Radeon 9800XT

Conclusions and SPECviewPerf 7.1

SPECviewperf 7.1 Source: SPEC.org

SPECviewperf® is a portable OpenGL performance benchmark program written in C. It was developed by IBM. Later updates and significant contributions were made by SGI, Digital (Compaq, HP), 3Dlabs (Creative Labs) and other SPECopcSM project group members. SPECviewperf provides a vast amount of flexibility in benchmarking OpenGL performance. The SPECopcSM project group made data changes to viewsets running under SPECviewperf 7.1 to discourage optimizations that benefit the benchmark, but might not improve real-world application performance. Since the SPECviewperf source and binaries have been upgraded to support some of these changes, no comparisons should be made between past results and current results for viewsets running under SPECviewperf 7.1.

Higher numbers equate to better performance.

USPECviewPerf 7.1 Benchmark Results
3Dsmax-02 Test Score Ranking
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 13.57
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 13.97
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 12.8
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 XT 13.25
DRV-02 Test Score Ranking
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 41.07
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 41.14
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 36.49
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 XT 36.52
DX-08 Test Score Ranking
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 49
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 49.51
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 70.54
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 XT 71.54
Light-06 Test Score Ranking
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 13.89
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 13.92
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 13.92
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 XT 13.89
ProE-02 Test Score Ranking
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 14.18
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 14.45
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 13.61
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 XT 13.5
UGS-03 Test Score Ranking
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 8.87
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 9.19
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 23.21
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 XT 23.37

Our final metric is a measure of professional graphics performance. Both ATI and NVIDIA sell cards optimized for this sort of test, but those cost significantly more than the gaming cards featured here, and might be a viable alternative to professionals on a budget.

In four of the tests, NVIDIA hardware dominates. Meanwhile, the Sapphire RADEON 9800 XT claims decisive victories in two of the others. Of those that the GeForce FX 5950 does win, one is by five percent, one by 13 percent, one by less than a percent, and the last by seven percent. ATI's two victories span 44 and 154 percent. The results may seem to point definitively towards NVIDIA, but the percentages suggest a more comparable match-up.


It'd be hard to argue against the observation that ATI and NVIDIA have been riding on year-old architectures for the past year. However, as ATI's president and COO Dave Orton recently pointed out to me, there really isn't much point in designing a new architecture for as long as DirectX 9 is the dominant API. Doing so would simply require developers to familiarize themselves with new hardware rather than focusing on writing their games. Once DirectX 10 comes out in conjunction with Microsoft's next-generation operating system, we will see the graphics landscape evolve once again.

Until then, there is a healthy selection of graphics cards currently available. The Sapphire Radeon 9800XT weighs in at $450USD ($600CDN), and the only real reason to consider such a pricey piece of hardware is to play games... at high resolutions with all of the visual details maximized. Of those cards currently available, Sapphire's RADEON 9800 XT does an excellent job.

What, then, makes Sapphire's offering any different? There's not much, frankly. The hardware itself is essentially ATI's reference RADEON 9800 XT board with a different sticker. However, do keep in mind that it comes with a complete copy of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness and a coupon for Half-Life 2. That's nearly $100 of value right there, so long as you were actually planning to buy both games. And don't let the fact that Sapphire's card is a reference board detract from its gaming performance and image quality.

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< Previous Page © 2018 PCSTATS.com Video Cards News»


Contents of Article: Sapphire Radeon 9800XT
 Pg 1.  Sapphire Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  The ATI RADEON 9800XT VPU
 Pg 3.  Sapphire's Take on Pricing, and 3DMark03
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, Comanche 4
 Pg 7.  — Conclusions and SPECviewPerf 7.1

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