iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ATI Technologies' counter-offensive:
RADEON X1800 (R520),
X1600 (RV530), and X1300 (RV515) Series

Part 4: Rendering Quality, New Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering Modes
(Continuation, Serious Sam 2 Demo)


  1. Part 1. Theory and architecture
  2. Part 2: Practical examination
  3. Part 3: Game test results (performance)
  4. Part 4: Render quality comparison in games

Settings and conventional signs

  • AA and AF control was done from the game.
  • Drivers were configured by default, except for those modified to analyze the quality in various AA and AF modes.

  • 4x/16x = MSAA 4x, AF 16x
  • 4x+TA/16x = MSAA 4x + Transparency/Adaptive AA, AF 16x
  • 4x+TA/16x+HQ = MSAA 4x + Transparency/Adaptive AA, AF 16x High Quality (HQ AF and Catalyst A.I. Off in R520, Catalyst A.I. Off in R480 and HQ mode in G70)

Serious Sam 2 Demo

And in conclusion goes one more new game, which is about to hit the shelves; continuation of legendary Serious Sam on a new engine with new effects and new heap of drags that make stumble even the GF7800GTX.

Radeon X1800
GeForce 7800

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

Radeon X850

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

JPEG (~730 KB) | PNG (~3.3 MB)

First of all, pay your attention to reflections in building windows in the background: they are quite normal on both Radeons, while they are pixelized on the GeForce card — an evident lack of FP16 calculation precision. How strange that the shader got into the game in this very form. We guess the GF6x00/7x00 cards will not lose much performance, if they process this shader with FP32 precision.

Update: Soon after publishing the article we've got a letter from Dean Sekulic, programmer of Serious Sam 2:

Just wanted to let you know that this is actually not a precision issue (on NV40 everything works just fine), but a little bug in NV shader assembler for G70 which will (probably...) be fixed in the next public beta driver.

In other respects, everything is yawningly identical. Well, just the HQ anisotropy in the R520 has finally shown its worth on a sloping lawn in the bottom left part of the screenshot. Have you noticed? And will you notice it in the process? Especially in a game like Serious Sam 2, where 99.9% of the time goes to shooting and only 0.01% is left for sight-seeing?

Serious Sam 2 allows to enable HDR in GF6x00/7x00 video cards. And we were not slow to take advantage of this opportunity to see how it works on the RX1800. Especially as SS2 Demo settings allow to activate HDR together with MSAA! Unfortunately, the result was negative again: we got a black screen with HUD icons, when we activated HDR with AA; having disabled AA — a surprisingly strong artifact in the form of bright yellow horizontal stripe periodically appearing on screen, instead of HDR bloom. Well, not this time, not in this version.

Back: F.E.A.R. SP Demo | Forward: Conclusions

Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)
Danil Gridasov (degust@ixbt.com)

October 12, 2005.

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