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GeForce3 Under Attack: ATi's Radeon 8500 Previewed

VillageMark

This benchmark comes from PowerVR and is meant to show the benefits of the tile render architecture over the classic method used by most other chips. There is a huge overlap in the benchmarks scene (high depth complexity) and the objects are intentionally sorted back to front. Normally only Kyro cards can really score well here. Let's see how well the HyperZ II of Radeon 8500 is doing.

Radeon 8500 destroys GeForce3 in this benchmark! I have to be fair and admit that the triple-texturing in this benchmark doesn't really help the NVIDIA cards with their even number of rendering units as well. Still, the defeat is clear. This time it seems pretty obvious that ATi's hidden surface removal actually works. NVIDIA's 'z-occlusion culling' doesn't stand a chance, because it simply doesn't work with scenes that are sorted back-to-front.

Giants

GeForce3's behavior in this benchmark is rather strange, as it scores higher frame rates in 32-bit color than in 16-bit color. Still, it is able to beat Radeon 8500, even though it scored much better with the old 12.41 driver.