ATI Radeon 9800 XT review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 11/11/2003 01:39 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
ATI's Radeon 9800 XT is an amazing product, expensive, but amazing. The 9800 XT is fast and very efficient with it's quality settings in Anisotropic Filtering and Anti Aliasing. Installation was as easy as a breeze, no problems at all. Stability then, it never crashed even once except with the game Call of Duty, that's driver related though and probably will be fixed in future catalyst driver releases. ATI has been constantly improving itself in the past 2 years and it's at a level where only one other player is, NVIDIA. ATI has the best DirectX 9.0 Pixel and Vertex Shader performance, that's not something anyone can deny. So it makes sense to say that the XT would be the better product here. Realistically I have to say though is this, how many pure DX9 titles do we have at the moment. Often it's a mixed bag of DX8 and DX9 shaders. Game developers are not dumb, they target themselves at mainstream.
Also I just have to make a side note here, if you own a Radeon 9700, 9800 (Pro) then it's definitely not worth it to upgrade as there are no major architectural changes in the product. This is a refresh product and the latest and greatest will be released in about 5 months from now already which always is a nice leap forward. If you can't wait and have a previous generation product then two thumbs up here, what a nice card this is to own.
The card is highly programmable, game programmers will love the Radeon 9800 XT. The Radeon 9800 XT is a joy to own, it in fact is a somewhat beefed up Radeon 9800 Pro but it'll play any game to date absolutely fabulous with and without setting like AA and AF.
Overclocking was a real joy to do with this card. The overdrive function, well it's a nice feature but doesn't do much in it's current safety settings. You will not notice a difference that you can witness with your bare eyes. The idea behind it is very nice though. Overclocking itself was fun to see also yet, again we have to state that we can achieve the same results with a good 9800 Pro.
For now, this is 2003 and I like what I see, period. The product right now sells for 499 USD which is steep to cough up, the addition of a free copy of Half-Life 2 will definitely sweeten up that deal but as it looks now we won't be seeing the title until Q1 2004.
Again two thumbs up for ATI, highly recommended. But keep in mind what is to come next year, Pixel and Vertex Shaders 3.0 will be key features there and hey PCI-Express, a 2 to 4 times faster bus then AGP8x. Exciting times for sure !
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