iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






February 2002 3Digest - ATI RADEON 32 MBytes SDR

By Andrey Vorobiev

This chip is presented by AT ATI RADEON 32 MBytes SDR, AGP videocard.


  • ATI RADEON chip, 160 MHz clock rate;
  • 32 MBytes SDR SDRAM memory in four Micron 6ns microchips, 160 MHz clock rate, 128-bit bus;
  • Peak fill rate in the multitexturing mode is 320 megapixels/sec and 960 megatexels/sec with three texture blocks on each pipeline and 666 megatexels/sec with two texture blocks on each pipeline.

Overclocks to 190/190 MHz (see summary diagrams).

After the late release of ATI RAGE 128 PRO and it's already low abilities as a competitor, ATI has released RADEON in the Summer'2000 that has delivered a strong blow to NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS. The whole line of the cards, occupying various market niches, has been released after that. Videocards based on this GPU often differ only in the terms of clock rate and memory. This time we review the least productive processor of the line, that has 160 MHz memory and bus clock rate. This card is bound to extinct as there's its 64 MBytes variant in the market for almost the same price - RADEON 7200 to replace RADEON SDR. And there's also "freaky" RADEON 7500 with SDR memory featuring RADEON DDR perfomance for a bit higher price than the card reviewed here.

For the 15th of February 2002 the latest drivers from ATI are 9.012, 9.013, 9.016 for Windows 9x/ME and 6.016, 6.032 for Windows XP.

I shall note there's Radeon2.ru web-site that tracks all software novelties from ATI and offers improved drivers versions with preset registry settings for increasing RADEON cards perfomance.

As the drivers differences are equal for all RADEON cards, there's no sense in comparing drivers separately for each of these cards. See ATI RADEON 7200 64 MBytes SDR section for more information about drivers.

And now I want to attract your attention to another important 3D feature - filtering. As many of you know, all chipsets support bilinear filtering that is an important instrument in MIP-mapping, some chipsets support trilinear filtering (true, not the approximation) and only few support anisotropic filtering.

Due to the fact that RADEON does support anisotropic filtering, I recommend you to pay attention to the article about this feature.

Below are some screenshots taken on RADEON and reference ones taken on NVIDIA GeForce3. Pay attention to Need For Speed: Porshe 2000. As we've already said all cards by ATI lack fog in this game. But it can be enabled either with the help of RadeonTweaker utility (download the latest version from ATINFO) or by means of manual registry editing. You'll need to enable WFogEnable and TableFogEnable. This method proved to be efficient with 7.041, 7.131, 7.153 versions.

Games / Cards 1 2 3 4 5 6

Games / Cards 7 8 9 10 11 12

Games / Cards 13 14 15 16 17 18

Games / Cards 19 20 21 22 23 24

Games / Cards 25 26 27 28

Game list:

  • 1. Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • 2. Unreal2 - for GeForce cards, Unreal - for all other
  • 3. Comanche4
  • 4. No One Lives Forever
  • 5. Serious Sam
  • 6. Colin McRAE Rally2
  • 7. Red Faction
  • 8. Rally Trophy
  • 9. Sacrifice
  • 10. Venom
  • 11. Need For Speed V (Porshe 2000)
  • 12. Real MYST
  • 13. Blade of Darkness
  • 14. Giants
  • 15. 3DMark2001: Game1
  • 16. 3DMark2001: Game2
  • 17. 3DMark2001: Game3
  • 18. 3DMark2001: Game4
  • 19. 3DMark2001: Dot3
  • 20. 3DMark2001: EMBM
  • 21. 3DMark2001: Vertex Shaders
  • 22. 3DMark2001: Pixel Shaders
  • 23. Black & White
  • 24. Undying
  • 25. Anachronox
  • 26. Max Payne
  • 27. AquaNox
  • 28. Serious Sam II

I must say that 3DMark2001 has some bugs with a number of old drivers:

2D quality is NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS perfect. Of course some monitors will show "soaped" picture, so you shouldn't blame videocard at once, just check if your monitor is tuned fine and is not defocused.

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