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home : reviews : RADEON 7500 : page 3




Benjamin Sun
February 27, 2002

Installation
Videocard installation is really easy. In all of my time as a computer user,  I have had maybe 2 problems with installing a new videocard. One was related to using the wrong drivers and another was a memory failure of the videocard. Having said that, installation is often a step many reviews forget to talk about. Trying to be a little bit different, I decided to cover installation of the 7500 here.

I normally do two installations in a videocard review. First, I uninstall the previous drivers for the previous videocard, remove the previous videocard and install the new card and it's drivers. Not everyone formats or installs Windows fresh when installing a videocard. In this case, I removed my AIW RADEON from the system via Windows Setup, then turned off the computer. Upon inserting the 7500 and plugging in the monitor cable, I booted the machine and installed the drivers. I haven't had any issues with the 7500 on this system, however, when writing a videocard review, I always start with a fresh install of Windows on a freshly formatted hard drive. This allows for a clean installation of drivers and eliminates the possibility of a driver conflict from older drivers.

System
1800+ Athlon XP
nForce Reference motherboard using latest drivers
Onboard sound
30GB Maxtor 7200RPM 2mb cache UDMA66, 30GB Western Digital 7200 RPM 2mb cache UDMA100
12x DVDROM, 40X CDROM
Windows Millenium Edition
Driver 7.60
56k modem

Software tested
Quake3 1.17 and 1.30
3DMark 2001
3DMark 2000
Aquamark

Testing methodology
My testing regimen begins with a fresh format and install of Windows for every videocard I install in a review. While this isn't really necessary, I find a clean hard disk allows for a cleaner environment to test benchmarks. The second thing I want to stress is that I like to give a out of the box experience experience report. In this day and age of almost weekly NVIDIA Detonator drivers, or leaked ATI developer drivers, how does the card perform with the CD drivers is often overlooked. To me, as a reviewer, however, I have to take the assumption that not everyone will visit a fansite such as Rage3d to download ATI drivers and many will use officially released supported drivers only.

It's not my intention to let benchmarks be the only measure of how a videocard is rated. It's also important how modern games perform while using the videocard. To test this, I've gathered several games I currently play: Commanche 4, Return To Castle Wolfenstein, Pool Of Radiance, and Serious Sam. I tested each of these games at various resolutions and settings, and will report on them once testing is completed. I thought long and hard on what cards to test the 7500 against in this price range. Unfortunately, I don't have a NV17 or GeForce2 Titanium to test, so I decided to do a standalone review.



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