iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






March 2002 3Digest - ATI RADEON LE 32 MBytes DDR

By Andrey Vorobiev

This chip is presented by ATI RADEON LE 32 MBytes DDR, AGP videocard.


  • ATI RADEON chip, 148 MHz clock rate, (HyperZ is disabled in Direct3D);
  • 32 MBytes DDR SGRAM memory in four Samsung 6ns microchips, 148 (296) MHz clock rate, 128-bit bus;
  • Peak fill rate in the multitexturing mode is 296 megapixels/sec and 888 megatexels/sec with three texture blocks on each pipeline and 592 megatexels/sec with two texture blocks on each pipeline.

Wasn't overclocked due to senior models present.

In the summer of the year 2000, when NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS was at peak with its prices dropping, ATI released a product, being absolutely noncompetitive due to its high price and half-made drivers. The software quality became acceptable only in a year after the release, and prices for some RADEON models became rather attractive. The fall of 2001 brought the successor - RADEON 7500, made according to a better technical process, and thus having more higher clock rate. Now RADEON 7500 cards cost less than the reviewed card, so RADEON 32/64 MBytes DDR is bound to vanish. It's not manufactured anymore, companies sell their stock. And the manufacture of LE cards has been cancelled long ago, as they were based on RADEON wastes with HyperZ disabled. Higher clock rate RADEON LE cards had been being manufactured for some time, but it hadn't been long. So we move this section to the archive.

For the 10th of March 2002 the latest drivers from ATI are 9.009, 9.017, 9.021 for Windows 9x/ME and 6.037, 6.043 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 with DDR memory, there's no sense in comparing drivers separately for each of these cards. See ATI RADEON 64 MBytes DDR (183 MHz) 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 concerning 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 29 30

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. Command and Conquer: Renegade
  • 26. Max Payne
  • 27. AquaNox
  • 28. Serious Sam II
  • 29. IL2: Shturmovik
  • 30. MoHAA

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

The information about differences between LE version of RADEON DDR and a complete one can be found on ATI Technologies website as well as on iXBT and Reactor Critical.

Below are registry settings for enabling HyperZ in Direct3D (It's enabled by default in OpenGL):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ATI Technologies\Driver\xxxx\atidxhal].

Where xxxx is a specificial number of the video adapter determinate by Windows.
All variables in this branch are of STRING type.

DisableHierarchicalZ: Settings: 1 = Disabled, 0 = Enabled.

DisableHyperZ: Settings: 1 = Disabled, 0 = Enabled.
FastZClearEnabled: Settings: 1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled.

And these variables are for those who want to get some fog in games like Need For Speed:

TableFogEnable: Settings: 1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled.

WfogEnable: Settings: 1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled.
ZfogEnable: Settings: 1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled.

And just in case - HyperZ settings for OpenGL:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ATI Technologies\Driver\xxxx\OpenGL\Private].
disableHyperZ: Settings: 1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled
enableHierarchicalZ: Settings: 1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled
enableZCompression: Settings: 1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled

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

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