Radeon 8500 vs. GeForce3 Ti 500

Radium? Titaneon? Aw, hell.
— 12:00 AM on December 6, 2001

This article is late because we've been occupied by trying to pin down ATI on Radeon 8500 clock speeds (which we eventually did) and delving into ATI's apparent use of cheats on Quake III Arena benchmarks. Then we visited with ATI (and with NVIDIA) at Comdex. While we were there, ATI released a new driver for the Radeon 8500, so we had to go back to the drawing board with our testing.

That's all probably just as well, however, because the new drivers make this comparison much more interesting. Before ATI released the latest drivers for the Radeon 8500, this GeForce3 Ti 500-versus-Radeon 8500 comparison would have read like this:

Don't buy a Radeon 8500. Buy a GeForce3.
End of story (only with more graphs). However, ATI's latest drivers take care of a great many problems—the Quake III "optimizations," Athlon XP incompatibilities, surprisingly low performance—that the Radeon 8500 brought with it when it first arrived on retail shelves. And once you get under that crusty old ATI veneer of lousy drivers and purposely vague public statements, the Radeon 8500 looks like a darned good graphics processor.

Good enough to take on NVIDIA's vaunted GeForce3 Titanium series? Just maybe. Keep reading to find out.

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