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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition is the fastest graphics chip from ATI and we got an AGP board sample from ATI for reviewing. Since NVIDIA won’t release a GeForce 7800 GTX version for the AGP bus, theoretically this is the fastest VGA available for the AGP bus. Let’s see if that is true on our review.

All major video cards released recently are for the new PCI Express bus. The problem is that you need to upgrade your computer to have use a PCI Express-based video card and you may already have a terrific computer but based on the AGP bus and don’t want to change your motherboard or face a major upgrade in your system.

That’s were the AGP version of cards like the Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition comes in place. It will allow you to reach a high-end performance without the need to move to the PCI Express platform.

In our review we will compare the performance of the AGP version of Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition to other high-end AGP cards, like GeForce 6800 Ultra, GeForce 6600 GT, Radeon X800 XT and high-end video cards from previous generations, namely Radeon 9800 XT and GeForce FX 5950 Ultra.

You can see in our tutorial “ATI Chips Comparison table” the difference between this chip and the other chips from ATI, while on our tutorial “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” you can compare it to its competitors from NVIDIA. It is very important to keep in mind that NVIDIA chips from series 6 and 7 use a Shader 3.0 engine (DirectX 9.0c), while ATI chips still use Shader 2.0 (DirectX 9.0).

It is always important to remember that the “memory clock” column from these tables informs the chip manufacturer (ATI or NVIDIA) recommended clock. In some cases, specially on cheaper video cards, the card manufacturer uses simpler memory chips (in order to cut the board price) and lower memory clocks (compatible with the memory chip used), making the board to achieve a lower performance compared to boards that use the same graphics chip but with their memory chips running at the chip manufacturer recommended clock. Because of that, we always run PowerStrip software in order to check if the video card memory is running at the standard clock set by the chip manufacturer or running at a lower clock rate.

The reviewed Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition reference model from ATI runs at 540 MHz for the chip and 1.18 GHz for the memory.

[nextpage title=”The AGP Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition”]

You can see the reference model for the Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP version on Figures 1 and 2.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGPFigure 1: The reference model for Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGPFigure 2: The reference model for Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP, back view.

The cooler used on this video card is so big that it uses the PCI slot right next to the AGP slot. On the other hand, the cooler blows the hot air generated by the card outside the case, which is very good to lower the temperature inside the PC.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGPFigure 3: This model is “fat”, using the space of two slots. But the cooler blows the air outside the computer.

We disassembled the video card heatsink to take a look at the memory chip used. This video card uses 1.6 ns GDDR3 memory chips from Samsung which can run up to 1.2 GHz, according to the manufacturer. Since Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition accesses the memory at 1.18 GHz, there is less than 2% headroom for overclocking the memory inside the memory’s specifications. But of course you can try overclock it over its specs.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGPFigure 4: 1.6 ns GDDR3 memory chip used by Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP.

This video card also has video capture function (a.k.a. VIVO), which is produced by the ATI Rage Theater chip.

Before going to our benchmarking results, let’s recap this video card main features.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

  • Graphics chip: Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition running at 540 MHz.
  • Memory: 1.6 ns 256-bit 256 MB GDDR3 memory from Samsung (K4J55323QF-GC16), running at 1.18 GHz.
  • Bus type: AGP 8x.
  • Connectors: One VGA, one DVI and one mini-DIN for VIVO function.
  • Number of CDs that come with this board: Not applicable (the reviewed model was the manufacturer reference board).
  • Games that come with this board: Not applicable (the reviewed model was the manufacturer reference board).
  • Programs that come with this board: Not applicable (the reviewed model was the manufacturer reference board).
  • Extra features: VIVO function using Radeon Rage Theater chip.
  • More Information: https://www.ati.com/products/radeonx850/index.html
  • Average Price in the USA*: USD 479.00

* Researched on https://www.pricewatch.com/ on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only different device was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

  • Motherboard: Biostar K8VHA Pro (VIA K8T800) (July 12th, 2004 BIOS)
  • CPU: Athlon 64 3200+
  • Memory: Two 256 MB DDR400/PC3200 modules from TwinMOS
  • Hard Drive: Maxtor DiamondMax 9 Plus (40 GB, ATA-133)
  • Screen resolution: [email protected] Hz

Software Configuration

  • Windows XP Professional installed using NTFS
  • Service Pack 1A
  • Direct X 9.0c
  • ATI video driver version: 4.8
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 61.77
  • VIA Hyperion driver version: 4.53

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark2001 SE”]

3DMark2001 SE measures video card performance simulating DirectX 8.1 games. It is very effective software for evaluating the performance from previous-generation games, programmed using DirectX 8. In this software we run six tests. We run the software in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and with no frame buffer, then we put the antialising at 4 samples and the frame buffer at triple-buffering. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our bechmarks, allowing direct comparison between them.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 6.05% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 6.47% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 8.5% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX,  10.33% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 18.34% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 35.06% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte,  35.11% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 35.18% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA.

Both Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 5.89% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 7.54% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 7.86% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 8.29% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 25.83% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 39.94% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 41.34% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 41.90% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Both Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition was 3.43% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 6.74% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 9.83% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 10.04% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 37.59% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 46.78% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 48.04% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 49.56% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Once more, both Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition was better than all the other cards tested: it was 3.73% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 9.60% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 10.76% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 11.73% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 12.14% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 35.22% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 39.36% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte, 59.70% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA and 60.40% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition was once more better than all the other cards tested: it was 6.07% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 10.21% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 13.25% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 15.80% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 16.11% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 51.76% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 54.73% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte, 88.23% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 88.34% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was the best among the cards tested: it was 10.87% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 22.01% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 22.29% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 24.76% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 31.64% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 75.13% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 84.35% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte, 167.52% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA and 168.00% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek.

[nextpage title=”3DMark03″]

3Dmark03 measures performance by simulating games written to DirectX 9, which are contemporary games. We run this program in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and anisotropic filtering, and then configuring antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering also at 4x. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our bechmarks, allowing direct comparison between them.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 4.99% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 21.93% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 22.39% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 61.06% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 61.27% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 85.57% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI and 98.44% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Both GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 8.10% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 28.03% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 28.96% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 74.29% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 75.02% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 101.67% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI and 111.63% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Both GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was faster than all the other cards tested: it was 3.58% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 4.97% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 9.36% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 31.14% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 32.39% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 87.22% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 87.26% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 119.91% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI and 124.21% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was faster than all the other cards tested: it was 6.20% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 9.84% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 13.19% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 36.23% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 37.47% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 95.57% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 95.61% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 106.81% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI and 132.88% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.
 

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was once more faster than all the other cards tested: it was 43.68% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 45.68% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 53,42% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 86.52% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 87.55% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 187.41% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 194.79% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 194.79% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 227.35% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 13.12% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 14.91% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 21.32% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 47.35% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 48.40% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 134.90% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 158.05% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 158.32% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 162,38% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

[nextpage title=”Aquamark 3″]

Aquamark 3 is a software to test 3D performance based on the engine of the game Aquanox, a very heavy game, and it’s a software indicated to see how a video card behaves with the next generation of games to be released in the near future. It uses DirectX 9 API and we used it’s default configuration. From the series of results the software provides, we analyzed the score called TriScore. This software runs automatically at 1024x768x32.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At this software Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was faster than all the other cards tested: it was 3.63% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 6.21% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 13.24% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 20.49% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 20.81% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 26.12% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 26.14% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 40.36% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI and 46.18% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

[nextpage title=”X2 – The Threat”]

We ran the demo of the game X2 – The Threat, that is a very heavy game and it represents the graphics complexity of the new generation games. It runs several phases of the game and in the end it presents the average of frames per second generated. We ran the software at three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32,  first without any image quality enhancement, and after enhancing image quality, because the performance usually decreases when we enhance image quality. Enhancing image quality consisted in activating antialising and shadowing.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 9.42% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 9.75% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 13.44% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 13.88% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 19.97% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 27.00% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition and GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 11.81% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 12.14% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 23.49% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 23.59% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 30.62% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 41.32% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition and GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 3.41% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 15.08% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 16.10% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 35.24% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 35.39% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 44.37% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 57.68% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

Both GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 17.13% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 17.62% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 37.12% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 37.14% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 38.97% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 55.16% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

Both GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition was beaten by GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, which was 6.37% faster.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 20.07% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 20.74% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 46.98% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte, 50.06% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 51.67% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA and 72.99% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

Both GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition was beaten by GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, which was 3.24% faster.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 20.95% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 23.67% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 54.49% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte, 58.26% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 58.34% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA and 80.78% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was beaten by both GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, that were 6.54% and 3.70%, respectively, faster.

[nextpage title=”Doom 3″]Doom 3 is one of the heaviest games available today. As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game at three resolutions: 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32. This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels, low and high. We ran demo1 four times and wrote the obtained number of frames per second. The first result we discarded at once, since it is far inferior than the other results. This happens because at the first time we run the demo the game must load all textures to video memory, fact that doesn’t happen from the second time we run the demo on. From the three results left, we consider as our official result the middle result, i.e., we discard the highest and the lowest values. Curiously almost all times the values obtained at the second round on were the same.

A very important detail that we must mention is that Doom 3 has an internal FPS lock: it is only capable of generating 60 frames per second, even if your board is able to produce more frames per second than that. This is done in order to make the game to have the same “playability” sensation independently from the video card installed on the PC. This lock, however, is disabled in the game benchmarking mode.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Doom 3, read our tutorial on this subject.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was faster than all the other cards tested: it was 11.07% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 11.58% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 21.02% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 21.17% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 28.19% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 28.70% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 29.39% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 80.86% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 82.55% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 12.55% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 17.13% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 36.50% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 37.62% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 52.75% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 53.59% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 132.96% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 142.44% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX achieved almost the same performance as Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 17.42% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 44.10% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 44.10% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 62.16% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 63.38% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 149.81% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 176.50% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was beaten by both GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, that were 15.92% and 4.95%, respectively, faster.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was faster than all the other cards tested: it was 12.65% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 14.68% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 24.74% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA,  25.23% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 26.90% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 36.93% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 37.72% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 102.34% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI and 116.10% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 12.45% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 19.82% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 39.83% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 40.31% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 60.48% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 61.77% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 152.04% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI and 161.04% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX and Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI achieved practically the same performance.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 20.23% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 45.79% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek, 45.79% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 66.84% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 67.74% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 171.30% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 181.08% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI.

GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI achieved practically the same performance..

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was beaten by GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, that was 10.42% faster.

[nextpage title=”Far Cry”]

Far Cry is a game based on the new Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c) programming model available on series 6 and 7 from NVIDIA and series X1000 from ATI graphics chips. We’ve updated the game to version 1.3.
 
As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game at three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32. This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels, low and very high. To measure the performance we used the demo created by German magazine PC Games Hardware (PCGH), available at https://www.3dcenter.org/downloads/farcry-pcgh-vga.php. We run this demo four times and made an arithmetical average with the results. This average is the result presented in our graphs.

This game has a very important detail in its image quality configuration. Antialising, instead of being configured by numbers (1x, 2x, 4x or 6x) is configured as low, medium or high. The problem is that on NVIDIA chips both medium and high mean 4x, while on ATI chips medium means 2x and high means 6x, making the comparison between ATI and NVIDIA chips completely unfair. Because of that we configured antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering at 8x manually at the video driver control panel.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Far Cry, read our tutorial on this subject.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 5.14% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 6.9% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 12.12% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 13.07% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 102.62% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Radeon 9800 XT, Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition and Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire achieved similar performance to Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 4.29% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 5.46% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 12.51% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 12.70% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 186.63% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, Radeon 9800 XT and Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved similar performance to Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 4.41% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 21.97% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 29.81% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 32.00% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 305.60% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition, Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte and GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX achieved similar performance to Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was 3.78% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 7.65% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 23.31% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 23.75% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 102.62% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 104.09% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 122,01% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek and 148.94% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte.

Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition achieved similar performance to Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was faster than all the other cards tested: it was 14.60% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 14.84% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 22.52% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 56.81% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 60.78% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 158.46% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 161.69% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 194.57% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 203.37% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek.

Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition from ATI was also faster than all the other cards tested: it was 13.75% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from XFX, 21.18% faster than GeForce 6800 Ultra from NVIDIA, 27.47% faster than Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition from ATI, 67.48% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Gigabyte, 71.75% faster than Radeon X800 Pro from Sapphire, 171.70% faster than Radeon 9800 XT from ATI, 194.28% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from NVIDIA, 206.69% faster than GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from Gigabyte and 206.87% faster than GeForce 6600 GT AGP from Leadtek.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

In our benchmarks Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition was faster than its main competitor, GeForce 6800 Ultra, in almost all tests. NVIDIA advantage was basically on X2 – The Threat and Doom III when we increased the image quality. So, we can really consider Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition as the fastest video card for AGP platform – since there is no GeForce 7800 GTX for AGP bus.

Both ATI and NVIDIA cards can be found at the USD 480 range (average price), but you can find at https://www.pricewatch.com GeForce 6800 Ultra AGP being sold at USD 420, while the cheapest Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition costs USD 450.

As we mentioned, being an AGP solution, you can have a very high-end video card in your computer without upgrading your PC.

So, if you already have a computer and want to install the fastest AGP video card available on the market, go for the Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition.