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ATI Radeon 9800 XT Visual Gaming Performance - Testing Introduction and Counter-Strike

Half a grand is a lot of money to spend on a graphics card. In this article we examine visual gaming performance of ATI's latest GPU, the Radeon 9800 XT, in Counter-Strike, NHL 2004, Max Payne 2, Midnight Club II and Halo PC to work out if it is really worth spending all those dollars.

| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Nov 5, 2003 5:00 am

Testing Introduction

 

As outlined by the introduction to this article, TweakTown's Canadian Labs is focusing on evaluating the Radeon 9800 XT's visual performance, within the latest GPU-intensive PC games compared to a much older graphics card, an nVidia GeForce 3 Ti500. Using an appropriately-chosen suite of visually-burdened DirectX 8 & 9 games, we plan to put this card through piercing torture for the next forty-eight hours.

 

On the DirectX 9 side, we are dealing with Rockstar Game's Midnight Club II and Max Payne 2, as well as Bungie's Halo PC. On the DirectX 8 side, we have EA's NHL 2004 and Valve's Counter-Strike.

 

In each one of these games, quality of video and game-play settings were set to their absolute maximum. Whilst looking at the following in-game screenshots, keep in mind that these shots are taken on the fly - they are images being coherently produced by the video card. No stills.

 

Editor Note - We'll work on a follow up with visual performance from nVidia's latest GPU, the GeForce FX 5950 when we have more time to spend with a card based on this GPU.

 

Counter-Strike

 

Counter-Strike: Unquestionably the most popular online multiplayer game, ever. While it is not exactly a stunning (even pretty for that matter) or visually heavy game, we figured that one-hundred-thousand people might just be interested in seeing just how much a top-of-the-line video card, such as the Radeon 9800 XT, can performance-wise and visually improve their game.

 

 

 

Â…Almost none. The ambient shadows, smoke puffs, redundant textures and world lighting all appear slightly improved - nothing worth upgrading for. One of the weak aspects of Counter-Strike's visual performance is its poor anisotropic filtering support. In other words, when textures are drawn onto an object that stretches deep into a scene, those objects appear considerably blurry and 'unpolished'. On the other hand, the skyboxes (the level's sky map) are beautiful, and for the most part, appear very realistic.

 

 

 

Find the lowest price on ATI Radeon 9800 XT!

 

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