PowerMagic ATI Radeon 8500 in the test: Swan song for the GeForce3?

PowerMagic ATI Radeon 8500 in the test: Swan song for the GeForce3?


Aquamark is a DirectX 8.0 benchmark from Massive and, like Aquanox, is based on the Krass engine. A detailed underwater world is shown. AquaNox uses the GeForce3 nFiniteFX engine. With more than 160 vertex shaders, special effects such as layered fog, caustics, photo-realistic materials, radiosity lighting and shadows are created in real time. Higher order surfaces were used to create the organic enemies, pixel shaders are used for bump mapping and bespoke lighting effects. However, the frame rates from the Aquamark are significantly below those from Aquanox.

Aquamark 16 Bit

At a resolution of 800x600, the Geforce3 mercilessly pulls past the Radeon 8500 , but already loses so many frames at 1024x768 that it clearly overtakes the Radeon 8500 again at 1280x1024 by 25%. The performance gain of the Radeon 8500 clocked at 275/275 Mhz is just between 0.7% - 5% depending on the resolution. The fact that the PowerMagic Radeon 8500 is superior to the GeForce3 in higher resolutions is due to its better use of the memory bandwidth.

Aquamark 32-bit

In 32-bit color depth, the Radeon 8500 has a clear lead over the Geforce3, but here the card overclocks to 275/275 Mhz much more noticeable than in 16 bit - on the one hand, at 800x600, the performance is strangely 8% below that of the card that was not overclocked, again a curiosity that was reproducible, but the Radeon 8500 with 275Mhz/275 Mhz is in the resolutions above at least up to 9% faster than the OEM variant.

On the next page: Quake 3