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Connect3D Radeon 9700 Pro in the test: performance leap at high resolutions

Connect3D Radeon 9700 Pro in the test: performance leap at high resolutions

Table of contents
  1. 1 Introduction
  2. 2 The card
  3. Scope of delivery
  4. 3 Drivers
  5. 4 Specs and technology
    1. 5 FSAA and AF
  6. 6 Benchmarks
  7. Test system
  8. 7 Synthetic tests
    1. 3DMark2001 SE
    2. 8 3DMark Detail
    3. 9 Villagemark D3D
    4. 10 Villagemark Detail
    5. 11 TempleMark D3D
    6. TempleMark D3D detail
    7. 12 Codecreatures Bench
    8. 13 Codecreatures Detail
    9. 14 Aquamark D3D
    10. 15 Aquamark D3D detail
  9. 16 Game benchmarks
    1. Ultima IX D3D
    2. 17 Ultim a IX D3D Detail
    3. 18 Comanche4 D3D
    4. 19 Comanche4 D3D Detail
    5. 20 Dungeon Siege
    6. 21 Dungeon Siege Detail
    7. 22 Aquanox
    8. 23 Aquanox in detail
    9. 24 Jedi Knight II
    10. 25 Jedi Knight II Detail
    11. 26 Max Payne
    12. 27 Max Payne detail
    13. 28 Serious Sam SE D3D
    14. 29 SeSam SE D3D Detail
    15. 30 Serious Sam SE OGL
    16. 31 SeSam SE OGL Detail
    17. 32 UT2003 Demo FlyBy
    18. UT2003 Demo Botmatch
    19. 33 UT2003 FlyBy Detail
    20. UT2003 Botmatch Detail
    21. 34 Alice
    22. 35 Alice Detail
  10. 36 Conclusion

FSAA and AF

Now we come to a little bit closer look at the FSAA and AF modes than the completely gray theory allowed. The OpenGL FSAA tester renders a minimally rotated square, so that particularly difficult-to-smooth edges occur near 0 ° and 90 °. In this way it is easy to get an idea of ​​the theoretical performance of anti-aliasing.

0xFSAA R300.PNG
0xFSAA nv25.PNG
2xFSAA R300.PNG
2xFSAA nv25.PNG

The white dots show the positions of the samples generated for the FSAA. We added the ugly yellow lines to make the approximate size of a pixel clearer. Even the '0xFSAA', ie the normal sample pattern, shows a slight shift between the GeForce4Ti and the Radeon9700. The 2xFSAA raster is rotated by approx. 45 ° for both opponents, so that despite the nominal 2xFSAAs, 2 different sample positions are used on both the vertical and the horizontal, which increases the effectiveness of the anti-aliasing effect.

Especially Another special feature of the ATi method can be seen in the otherwise qualitatively almost identical 2xFSAA setting. Especially at the cut edge at the upper edge of the picture, the transition from red to green, the podium distribution on the Radeon appears much more homogeneous. This effect, which can also be observed elsewhere, just not like thatprominent, can be traced back to the on-chip gamma correction with which the R300 operates multisampling. As a result, intermediate levels that are too dark and too light are clearly more visible and thus also contribute more to the visual perception of the anti-aliasing.

4xFSAA R300.PNG
4xFSAA nv25. PNG
6xFSAA R300.PNG
Collage.PNG

In the first two shots we see that the ATis Radeon9700pro also uses a slightly rotated grid with 4xFSAA, so that with only four samples a total of four different positions can be achieved per axis. Unfortunately, nVidia has decided to use an orderly pattern which, compared to the Radeon, also only achieves 4 sample positions but only two different positions per axis and thus cannot significantly increase the quality compared to the 2xFSAA.

In picture 3 of this row we see ATi's 6xFSAA samples. Furthermore, no ordered pattern is used, so that an edge resolution of 6x6 samples is effectively calculated. Figure 4 illustrates this difference very nicely. Since the program that enables these images runs under OpenGL, we cannot offer the 4xS mode of the GeForce4 for comparison here.

2x Comp.PNG
8x Comp.PNG
16x Comp.PNG

See here We would like to thank you, like in our last reviews, screenshots of the OpenGL-AF tester from Xmas, for his permission to use screenshots from this program here.

With a setting of double anisotropic filtering (2xAF), the two chips do not take much, even if approaches can already be seen that are reinforced in the further shots.

In contrast to all the other chips from ATi (Radeon7xxx, Radeon8xxx and Radeon90xx), the Radeon9700pro can finally combine trilinear with anisotropic filtering and thus noticeably increase the image quality. Also the shortcoming that at 45 ° angles with the older chips only 2xAF took place, regardless of what was selected, has been corrected. The angular arcs around 0 ° and multiples of 45 ° now receive the full selected AF level. However, these angular ranges become smaller and smaller, the higher the AF level. In return, the areas in which 'only' the AF level of the next lower setting is used become larger and larger. For example, sixteen times AF can only be found in very, very limited areas around 0 °, 45 °, 90 °, etc.

What looks quite dramatic in the screenshots is later in the real game hardly noticeable, so small are the losses suffered by the image quality. On the other hand, the performance savings made possible by this optimization are very noticeable, but we will come to that later.

On the next page: Benchmarks