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Facelift: The ATi Radeon 9600 XT

Tomb Raider - Angel Of Darkness

This new game from publisher Eidos is currently a hot topic - and not necessarily in a good way. Tomb Raider AOD is one of the first DirectX 9 games with an integrated benchmarking feature. This was already present in the release version (v42) and was improved in the first patch (v49). In addition to fixing several bugs, the patch also improved in-game performance. Interestingly, Eidos retracted the patch shortly afterward ( rumor has it after being pressured by NVIDIA). Two week ago, the patch was finally replaced by a new one (v52) - which conspicuously lacks a benchmark option. Eidos incorrectly quotes September 3rd as the release date for this patch on its homepage.

The 3D engine of this game offers a plethora of settings and allows for highly detailed configuration - making it difficult to find a setting that is fair to both NVIDIA and ATi cards. We have tried to use comparable settings in our test (found here and here ).

Again, the higher clockspeed of the 9600 XT compared to the Pro gives it a clear advantage. Nonetheless, the 9500 Pro is still easily faster. Since NVIDIA's v44.03 drivers refused to render any screen output, we can only give you the scores we recorded with the current (official) version v45.23 and the new v52.16 drivers. The new drivers accelerate the FX 5600 Ultra by ~38% and the FX 5900 Ultra by 60-110%.