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In our original RADEON 9700 PRO preview, we examined the performance of the RADEON 9700 PRO with Intel’s 2.53GHz Pentium 4 processor. At the time we promised we’d take a closer look at the RADEON 9700 PRO’s performance with the Athlon XP line of processors, and today we’re delivering on that promise.
Since the majority of you probably don’t own one of the newer Thoroughbred-B processors, we’ve gone back and focused on RADEON 9700 PRO’s performance with chips that you’re much more likely to have. In particular we selected the first the Athlon XP 1800+, as well as the Athlon XP 2100+. We also threw in the Athlon XP 2400+ for good measure. To represent older Athlon generations we decided to go with AMD’s Athlon 1GHz utilizing the Thunderbird core, as well as a 1.2GHz Athlon processor (both using a 266MHz bus with 266MHz DDR memory).
On the video side, we chose the four solutions we feel most of you are probably contemplating for your next purchase: NVIDIA’s GeForce4 Ti 4200 and Ti 4600, as well as the ATI RADEON 8500 and RADEON 9700 PRO.
With any luck those of you on the brink of upgrading can use this article as a guide to help steer you in the direction that you ultimately decide to go in. While we can’t test everyone’s system configuration with these video cards, hopefully we’ve selected a range of processors and clock speeds that is close enough to your current system that you can get a fairly good idea of what kind of performance you can expect from a video card upgrade.
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
AMD Athlon XP 2100+
AMD Athlon XP 1800+
AMD Athlon 1200 (266MHz FSB/PC2100)
AMD Athlon 1000 (266MHz FSB/PC2100)
256MB PC2700 CAS2 DDR SDRAM
ATI RADEON 9700 PRO
ATI RADEON 8500 – 64MB Driver version 7.76
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 – 64MB Driver version Detonator 40.41
30GB IBM Deskstar DTLA 307030 ATA/100 Hard Drive
AFREEY 12X DVD-ROM
Windows XP Professional
Desktop Resolution: 1024x768x32
3DMark 2001 Second Edition - 32-bit color, 32-bit textures
Quake 3 Retail - High Quality
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter - Normal (32-bit) The Elephant Atrium demo
Jedi Knight II – High Quality
Unreal Tournament 2003 demo