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Testbed and Methods

We measured the performance of the ATI Radeon X1950 XTX on a testbed that was configured like follows:

  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU (2 x 2.60GHz, 2 x 1MB L2 cache)
  • ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe mainboard (nForce4 SLI X16) for Nvidia GeForce cards
  • ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe mainboard (ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200) for ATI Radeon cards
  • OCZ PC-3200 Platinum EL DDR SDRAM (2x1GB, CL2-3-2-5)
  • Maxtor MaXLine III 7B250S0 hard disk drive (Serial ATA-150, 16MB buffer)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card
  • Enermax Liberty 620W power supply (ELT620AWT)
  • Samsung SyncMaster 244T monitor (24”, 1920х1200@75Hz max display mode)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c
  • ATI Catalyst 6.8 beta (8-282-060802a-035384E)
  • Nvidia ForceWare 91.31

ATI’s and Nvidia’s drivers were set up 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:

  • Image Settings: Quality
  • Vertical sync: Off
  • Trilinear optimization: On
  • Anisotropic mip filter optimization: Off
  • Anisotropic sample optimization: On
  • Gamma correct antialiasing: On
  • Transparency antialiasing: Off
  • Other settings: default

We select the highest graphics quality settings in each game, identical for graphics cards from ATI and Nvidia. We do not modify the games’ configuration files and do not use the drivers’ profiles optimized for specific games. The frame rate is measured with the game’s own tools or, if not available, with the Fraps utility. We also measure a minimum frame rate where possible.

Besides the two standard resolutions of 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 pixels, we also used 1920x1200 resolution (with an aspect ratio of 16:10) in games that support widescreen modes. The reviewed card belonging to the top-end product category, we didn’t test it without full-screen antialiasing. We turned on FSAA and anisotropic filtering from the game menu. If such options were unavailable, we forced FSAA and AF through the appropriate options of the ATI Catalyst and Nvidia ForceWare driver.

Besides the Radeon X1950 XTX, the following graphics cards took part in the tests:

The cards were tested in these games and benchmarks:

Theoretical Tests

  • Marko Dolenc’s Fillrate Tester
  • Xbitmark version 0.65

First-Person 3D Shooters

  • Battlefield 2
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Far Cry
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One
  • Prey
  • Quake 4
  • Serious Sam 2

Third-Person 3D Shooters

  • Hitman: Blood Money
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
  • Tomb Raider: Legend

RPG

  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Titan Quest

Simulators

  • Pacific Fighters
  • X3: Reunion

Strategies

  • Age of Empires 3
  • Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends

Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3DMark05 build 1.2.0
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 build 1.0.2
 
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