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ATI Catalyst 4.8 and 4.9 BETA Doom 3 Performance Analysis - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Synthetic Gaming

Last week ATI caused a stir in the enthusiast community by releasing a "Doom 3 Hotfix" driver labeled 4.9 BETA for users of Radeon graphics cards which promised increased OpenGL performance for the new game. They also released their official Catalyst 4.8 drivers which promise even more performance increases. Follow Shane as we benchmark all the new drivers and see all the results for yourself.

By: | AMD Radeon Drivers in Software | Posted: Aug 22, 2004 4:00 am

Test System Setup


Processor(s): AMD Athlon 64 3200+


Video card(s): Shuttle AN51R (Supplied by Shuttle)


Video card(s): Gigabyte X800XT PE (Supplied by Gigabyte)


Memory: 1 X 512MB Corsair PC4000 PRO LED (Supplied by Corsair)


Hard Disk(s): Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA (Supplied by Western Digital)


As we mentioned we choose to include the latest 4.9 BETA drivers to see how they compare to the official 4.8's. Apart from these we also have the last release (4.7 Catalyst) to see what kind of performance jump if any the 4.8's give us in our suite of gaming benchmarks which now include Doom 3.


We are now also using the latest version of Direct X 9 which is "C" released just the other week. ATI haven't promised much performance increases in the latest drivers so let's see if there is anything which would warrant the update to the latest Catalyst drivers.


3DMark 2001 SE


3DMark2001 SE is a part of the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX 8.1 support with completely new graphics (including the GeForce4), it continues to provide benchmark results that empower you to make informed hardware assessments.




The latest 4.8's take a little drop in the lower resolution of 3DMark 2001, when moving to the higher resolution we get exactly the same score as the previous release. The 4.9 BETA stays the same as the 4.7's at the lower resolution but then drop in the higher resolution.


There doesn't seem to be any consistency in 3DMark 2001 between these three driver sets.


3DMark 2003


3DMark03 is the latest installment in the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX 9 support with completely new graphics (including the GeForce FX and ATI Radeon 9800), it continues to provide benchmark results that empower you to make informed hardware assessments.


Please Note: Due to recent events with the 3DMark03 series, we are adding results purely for those who are still in favor of 3DMark03. These results should not be taken too seriously and are only added for interest sakes.




The 4.7 and 4.8 scores are extremely close to each other with the 4.9's dropping in performance. You can see quite a noticeable gap between the 4.9's and the other sets of drivers.


Aquamark 3


Aquamark3 is the latest installment of the Aquamark benchmark suite. This new benchmark is much more powerful and demands much more from both the system and the graphics card. If there is any weakness in the system or 3D components, Aquamark3 will find them.



Aquamark 3 seems to get a performance jump in every single driver release and as you can see the 4.8's are faster then the 4.7's but the 4.9's are faster again then both of them.


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