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Facelift: The ATi Radeon 9600 XT


Unreal Tournament

UT 2003 is a very popular first person shooter of the last generation of games. Basically, you could say it's a DirectX 7 game spiced up with some DirectX 8 features. In some cases, like terrain rendering, the engine already uses pixel shaders v1.1 or v1.4, depending on hardware support. The "Unreal Engine" is under constant development, always being improved and tweaked. Over the last few years, several games using various versions of this engine have been published - see for more info.

We ran this benchmark using the highest detail settings available to put as much strain on the graphics cards as possible. Instead of using the flyby demos integrated into the game, we recorded our own demos using the maps "Inferno" and "Magma". Interestingly, as the results will show, these two maps confront the graphics cards with completely different requirements.

The Radeon 9600 XT is only marginally faster here than the 9600 Pro. However, it can finally outpace the "old" Radeon 9500 Pro in some cases. NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5600 Ultra lags behind noticeably.