Physically the Radeon 9800 Pro isn’t that dissimilar from the Radeon 9700 Pro, the board layout is almost identical and again we see the use of a 5.25” molex connector to power the video card. Just like the GeForce FX and the Radeon 9700 Pro a regular AGP slot does not provide enough power to the video card and thus the power is supplied to the card directly. The power consumption and dissipation of the Radeon 9800 Pro fortunately isn’t up to GeForce FX 5800 Ultra level just yet though, so the heatsink and fan are of a fairly standard size and don’t generate excess noise.
Fig 2. The ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, notice the 5.25" connector in the upper right corner.
That the Radeon 9800 Pro on paper looks to be a good bit faster than the Radeon 9700 Pro goes without saying, but how much faster is the Radeon 9800 Pro exactly when we pit it against the Radeon 9700 Pro and Nvidia’s GeForce FX 5800 Ultra? To get an impression of what the Radeon 9800 Pro is capable off we used the very same methodology we’ve used with our evaluation of the GeForce FX. We've used the below noted system configuration for all benchmarks with all video cards:
- Intel Pentium 4, 3.06GHz with HyperThreading
- Asus P4T533-C, Intel 850e chipset motherboard
- Nvidia GeForce FX 5800 Ultra
- ATi Radeon 9700 Pro
- ATi Radeon 9800 Pro
- 2 x 256MB Samsung PC1066-32 RDRAM memory
- IBM 120GXP, 120GB, 7200-rpm harddisk
- Windows XP Pro with SP1
- ATi Catalyst 3.0 Drivers, version 7.81
- Nvidia Detonator Drivers, version 42.63
We wanted to use a latest generation game engine which supports many of the new features and look at how well both cards perform at high resolutions with all the graphics settings at maximum, as that is what most people will be using these cards for anyway. We've used Epic’s Unreal Tournament 2003 for that purpose as it has all the support built in and generally is very demanding of the 3D graphics card. But we’ll start off with some basic 3Dmark2001SE benchmarks to see how well the Radeon 9800 Pro does in this de-facto 3D benchmark.