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Testbed and Methods

We used the following test system for our today’s test session with the new graphics accelerator family from ATI:

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.40GHz, 1MB L2);
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe mainboard (NVIDIA nForce4 SLI);
  • OCZ PC-3200 Platinum EL DDR SDRAM (2x1GB, CL2-3-2-5);
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C HDD (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer);
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card;
  • Cooler Master Real Power 450 PSU (RS-450-ACLY, 450W nominal power);
  • Dell P1130/Dell P1110 monitors (21”, maximum resolution:1800x1440x75Hz);
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c;
  • ATI CATALYST 8.173.1-050921a-026915E;
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 78.01.

ATI and NVIDIA drivers were configured as follows:

ATI CATALYST:

  • CATALYST A.I.: Standard
  • Mipmap Detail Level: Quality
  • Wait for vertical refresh: Always off
  • Adaptive antialiasing: Off
  • Temporal antialiasing: Off
  • Quality AF: Off
  • Other settings: default

NVIDIA ForceWare 78.01:

  • Image Settings: Quality
  • Vertical sync: Off
  • Trilinear optimization: On
  • Anisotropic mip filter optimization: Off
  • Anisotropic sample optimization: On
  • Gamma correct antialiasing: On (only for GeForce 7)
  • Transparency antialiasing: Off (only for GeForce 7)
  • Other settings: default

Each game was set to provide maximum image quality, similar for ATI and NVIDIA solutions. If the game offered any pre-integrated options for testing, such as demo recording and fast playback with the fps scores monitoring, we used them. In all other cases we resorted to FRAPS utility. WE tried to measure not only the average fps rate but also the minimum framerate achieved by the testing participants, which allows us to better evaluate the performance.

If the game allowed adjusting the full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering settings, we enabled FSAA 4x + AF 16x by appropriate settings. Otherwise we forced the necessary mode from the driver of the graphics accelerator. If the gaming engine didn’t support FSAA, we didn’t run the tests in eye candy mode at all.

Besides the ASUS Extreme N6600GT Silencer/HTD, we have also tested the following graphics cards:

The following games and applications were our benchmarks:

First-Person 3D Shooters

  • Battlefield 2
  • Chronicles of Riddick
  • Doom III
  • Far Cry
  • F.E.A.R. Multiplayer Beta
  • Half-Life 2
  • Painkiller: Battle out of Hell
  • Pariah
  • Project Snowblind
  • Unreal Tournament 2004

Third-Person 3D Shooters

  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Simulators

  • Colin McRae Rally 2005
  • Pacific Fighters
  • Lock On: Modern Air Combat

Real-Time Strategies

  • Perimeter
  • Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War

Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Aquamark3
  • Final Fantasy XI Official Benchmark 3

Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3DMark03 build 360
  • Futuremark 3DMark05 build 120
 
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