Using MadOnion’s 3DMark 2001 SE benchmark (Build 330) and standard configurations (no anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering), the GeForce4 Ti 4600 stands up reasonably well against the Radeon 9700 Pro. ATI’s new chip is less than 20 percent faster than the GeForce4 (18.7%). With the older 3DMark 2000 test, the GeForce4 is actually three per cent faster than the Radeon 9700 Pro.
However, if you increase the picture quality by activating anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, the GeForce4 has no chance against the Radeon 9700 Pro. Both chips were tested with the maximum possible quality settings (ATI: 8x anti-aliasing, 16x anisotropic filtering; nVidia: 4xs anti-aliasing, 8x anisotropic filtering). In this configuration, the Radeon 9700 Pro’s 3DMark 2001 score (7,800) is 175 per cent better than the GeForce4 Ti 4600’s (2,835).
If the anisotropic filtering in the GeForce4 is turned off, the Radeon 9700 Pro is still 41 percent faster. The reason for the GeForce4’s relatively poor performance lies in the fill rate, which drops dramatically when you turn on anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing. With single texturing, the Radeon 9700 Pro offers nearly four times more bandwidth than the GeForce4. With multi-texturing, the ATI chip is more than seven times as fast as its nVidia rival.
3DMark 2001: individual tests
A glance at 3DMark 2001’s individual game and synthetic tests shows in detail how badly the GeForce4 loses out against the Radeon 9700 Pro.
Depending on the particular game test, the ATI chip’s performance is between 86 and 254 percent better. Even if the GeForce4’s anisotropic filtering is deactivated (GeForce4 Ti 4600 4xs AA), the nVidia chip cannot match the Radeon 9700 Pro.
Thanks to its high-performance memory interface, the Radeon 9700 is more than three times as fast at environment bump mapping as the GeForce4. On the other synthetic tests, the ATI chip is between 14 and 224 percent faster than the nVidia chip.
Tests with current 3D games show whether the Radeon 9700 Pro can put its theoretical performance advantages into practice.
Without any picture quality enhancements enabled (anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering), the GeForce4 can match -- and is even between three and five percent faster than -- the Radeon 9700 Pro. Only with Aquanox (which nVidia used as a particularly demanding 3D game that could show off the advantages of the GeForce4) is the Radeon 9700 Pro significantly faster (25 percent) than the Geforce4 Ti 4600.
If anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are turned on, the performance advantage of the Radeon 9700 Pro over the former GeForce4 demo game Aquanox is boosted considerably. Here, the ATI chip is six times faster than the GeForce4 Ti 4600. With the other games, the Radeon 9700 Pro’s lead is between 18 and 86 percent.