GeCube Radeon 9800 XT
When it came to choosing the high-end graphics card for this article, we had two clear chipsets to choose from - an nVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra or an ATI Radeon 9800 XT. If we wanted the highest 3DMark score, we could have gone for the FX 5950 but we are after raw performance so the XT was the choice for us.
One of the hardest decisions is to decide what brand you want. Price is usually dependent on the package you get with the graphics card and if you simply want the latest in graphics technology, you are better off looking at one of the companies that offer a card which simply follows the reference design and OEM package.
When it comes to purchasing the brand new Radeon 9800 XT, most people are only interested in two things: the latest in graphics hardware and the voucher for the latest in gaming technology. What are we talking about? Half Life 2, of course! We just need to wait and twiddle our thumbs for a little while until Valve release the game, whenever that may be.
The GeCube graphics card offers everything we want; the latest graphics chip from ATI and that little voucher that gives us the ability to download or order Half Life 2 the moment it is released.
Also included within the package from new Taiwanese VGA manufacturer GeCube (or Gigacube) is Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, drivers and a power cable. The package isn't huge but it has everything we want in it as we mentioned above, the latest graphics card and the ability to get the latest game the second it is released.
Powered by the AGP 8X RADEON 9800XT Visual Processing Unit (VPU).
Supports 256MB of DDR memory for todays demanding games, applications, effects and animation.
Supports the latest Microsoft DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL 2.0 feature sets.
Integrated 8 parallel rendering pipelines and 4 parallel geometry engines for incredibly fast 3D graphics.
SMARTSHADER 2.1 technology supports the latest Microsoft DirectX 9.0 feature sets, enabling more complex and cinematic-quality lighting effects.
SMOOTHVISION 2.1 technology delivers the sharpest, clearest textures, removes jaggies and brings out fine texture details without sacrificing frame rates.
128-bit full floating point precision enables billions of color variations to render the same lighting and effects as Hollywood studios.
FULLSTREAM and VIDEOSHADER produce smoother looking, higher quality video and streaming Internet content without putting extra strain on the CPU.
- Automatic Overclocking!
Overdrive is a new feature found on the Radeon 9800 XT which you may have heard been thrown around. Overdrive is hooked up with ATI's latest thermal monitoring technology to give you the best possible performance. It works by monitoring your temperatures and if everything is running fine it will proceed to overclock your card giving you the most performance possible, much like recent motherboards from MSI work.
We're almost up to the benchmarks, but not quite yet!