Update: ATi's Industry Shaking Radeon revisited


Our bombshell report exploded onto the screens of our millions of faithful readers earlier this week as we informed everyone of the industries latest 3D powerhouse, ATi's Radeon . The massive report required hours upon hours of last minute testing and writing to bring you the full scoop. However, because we know you want the latest information at earliest possible time, a few stones were left unturned. Well, we're back after investigating a few more matters as well as elaborating on some of our earlier points. We'll go over the addition of 64 MB GeForce2 results, added resolution to our test suite, and detail the results of our overclocking the Radeon.

Details About Shipping Radeon Cards

Before we get into the benchmarking details, I'd like to share a bit of information with you that only reached us after the previous Radeon article. After I heard rumors saying that ATi's yields of Radeon chips running at 183 MHz are not quite ideal, I asked ATi and found out that the Radeon cards with 32 MB memory have the core clocked at 166 MHz and the memory at 166 MHz only, giving ATi the chance to use the more available and less expensive 6 ns DDR SDRAM for those cards. You can imagine that this will make the 32 MB cards significantly slower than the versions with 64 MB.

I also have to correct myself for saying that all current Radeon cards lack the video in/out, because this is not true. The 64 MB cards are coming with all of ATi's video in/out goodies, while the 32 MB versions don't.

Please keep those two things in mind when shopping around for a Radeon card. The ones with only 32 MB are definitely a stripped down version of the 64 MB cards, with less performance and less features.

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Radeon CardMemoryCore ClockVideo FeaturesSuggested Retail Price
64 MB DDR5.5 ns DDR SDRAM183 MHzVideo In/Out$399 US
32 MB DDR6 ns DDR SDRAM166 MHzN/A$279 US
32 MB SDR(Shipping in September)6 ns SDR SDRAM166 MHzN/A$199 US

64 MB Monstrosities

Initially we intended on bringing our heavyweight challengers to the table when reviewing the Radeon but due to some unfortunate last minute issues, the 64 MB GeForce2 didn't make it. This problem was quickly fixed shortly after the release of the first article later that afternoon thanks to ELSA who was kind enough to quickly ship me a board (special thanks to Kim and Jennifer). Tom did find time in the first review to spot-check several important benchmarks with his GeForce2 64 MB board to verify that our findings were consistent even when we compared the Radeon to the NVIDIA's best offering but we obviously wanted to have an update that included the 64 MB GeForce2 results for you to see yourselves. This is no longer an issue as not only are we providing standard 64 MB GeForce2 results but also added resolutions and overclocked GeForce2 64 MB scores. The addition of these tests should further support Tom's initial findings. Let's take a look at the data.

Test Setup

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Graphics Cards and Drivers
Radeon DDR 64 MB4.12.3044
GeForce2 GTS 32/64 MBGeForce DDR 32 MB4.12.01.0532
Voodoo5 55004.12.01.0543
Platform Information
MotherboardAsus CUSL2 (bios 1000 BETA 013)
MemoryCrucial PC133 CAS2
NetworkNetgear FA310TX
Environment Settings
OS VersionWindows 98 SE 4.10.2222 A
DirectX Version7.0
Quake 3 ArenaRetail versioncommand line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0OpenGL FSAA set to 4X Super Sampling
ExpendableDownloadable Demo Versioncommand line = -timedemo
EvolvaRolling Demo v1.2 Build 944Standard command line = -benchmarkBump Mapped command line = -benchmark -dotbump
MDK2 DemoDownloadable Demo VersionT&L = OnTexture Quality = Max settingMipMap = OnTrilinear Filtering