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Desktop Graphics Ambitions: ATi Mobile Radeon 9800

DirectX 8: Splintercell

Splinter Cell is a real resource guzzler. Not only does it use very complex light and shadow effects but also pixel-shader effects (v1.1). Half the frame rate is determined by normal 3D calculations and half by shadow calculations.

While it was necessary with the Mobility Radeon 9800's predecessor to tone down the quality settings at higher screen resolutions in order to achieve acceptable frame rates, this is no longer an absolute necessity in the case of this chip.

However, if the quality settings are lowered, the notebook display rattles along almost as fast as the monitor of a very speedy desktop PC with Radeon 9800XT or Geforce FX 5900 Ultra. Systems with a Radeon 9600XT or a Geforce FX 5700 Ultra, however, get the short end of the stick.