AMD Radeon HD 3800: ATI Strikes Back

The Test

Apart from Unreal Tournament 3 and Crysis, introduced with the GeForce 8800 GT review, Call of Duty 4 also makes its debut. As with the rest of the games, it was tested in real life conditions with Fraps (no time demo). The latest patches were applied just before the test.

Performances were evaluated with DirectX 9 under Windows XP. As we've seen, the DirectX 10 mode of actual games isn't optimized and therefore consumes a whole lot of GPU power for an often disappointing result and isn't recommended for mainstream cards. Furthermore, the vast majority of you haven't switched to Windows Vista, which doesn't really change the ranking anyway.

Resolution wise, 1280 x 1024 has been added to 1600 x 1200 and 1920 x 1440 in order to have a very large sample and not penalize again cards that were only given 256 MB of memory (HD 3850 and 8600 GTS) and which aren't destined to large resolutions. As a reminder, 17" and 4/3 19" LCD screens display a native resolution of 1280x1024. The 1680 x 1050 of 22" monitors is only 8% less demanding than the 1600 x 1200, which is therefore very close. When it comes to 1920 x 1200, this resolution means a workload 17% less heavy than 1920 x 1440.

The test machine has also slightly evolved since the last time.

Test setup

Test Setup

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System Hardware
CPUIntel Core 2 Duo E6850 (3 GHz)
MotherboardAsus P5K3 Deluxe
MemoryKingston 2 x 1024 MB setup in DDR-3 800 5-5-5-15-21
Hard DriveHitachi T7K250 250 GB
DVD-ROMDVD Drive Asus 12x
Power SupplyTagan U15 Easycon 530 W
System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows XP Pro
NvidiaForceWare 169.04ForceWare 169.05 (every GeForce under Crysis)
ATICatalyst 8.43 (7.11 beta)