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Video Card Shootout, take 2! 100MHz AGP Systems!
Why upgrade your video card? Or should you upgrade your processor card?
by Jamie Dresser

It's been a long time since we wrote a dedicated article on Graphics cards! The last time we concentrated on graphics cards and game performance was over a year ago! There certainly have been a number of changes in video cards from ATI in recent months, most importantly being the release of the ATI RADEON 9000 Pro 128MB AGP card and the ATI RADEON 9200 128MB PCI video card. How do they stack up against the competition, both from their own company with the flagship RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB AGP and the "OEM" nVidia cards that have shipped with Apple systems for a number of years?

Considering the time passed since the last test, this will be the first of 4 installments. Next up is the 133MHz bus G4 "Quicksilver" system, then the 167MHz/G5 system, and finally the G3 Beige & Blue & White systems.

Well, this series of tests should really tell the tale! We've assembled every video card possible, with one exception, the ATI RADEON AGP, the original "upgrade" card, we just did not have that one to test so please don't email asking where it is. :>) I'm sorry, but we beat the bushes and could not find one. Maybe next time!

The tests have been performed on 3 of the hottest games around, and one venerable classic in this test of 4 different speeds of processor, hopefully satisfying everybody's appetite for comparisons.

The following G4 processors were used in these tests:
  • Stock Apple G4/400MHz "Gigabit Ethernet"
  • OWC Mercury Extreme G4/900MHz
    (867MHz guaranteed up to 933MHz operation)
  • OWC Mercury Extreme G4/1.2GHz
    (1GHz guaranteed to 1.2GHz operation)
  • OWC Mercury Extreme G4/1.4GHz
    (1.33GHz guaranteed up to 1.4GHz operation)
The following components were utilized in the G4 "Gigabit Ethernet" system:
  • SIIG Serial ATA controller PCI Card
  • Hitachi DeskStar 80GB SATA Hard Drive
  • 1GB (2 512MB Modules) of OWC PC-133 SDRAM
Games tested:
Call Of Duty
Unreal Tournament 2004
Quake 3

Click on one of the above 4 game links to view the results for each game tested. We hope you find what you're looking for to help decide on a new video card or processor upgrade!