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Testbed and Methods

During our comparative testing of the GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card we used the following hardware to build our test platforms:

  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU (2.60GHz, 2x1MB L2)
  • ABIT AN8 32X 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 (Serial ATA-150, 16MB buffer)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card
  • Enermax Liberty 620W power supply (ELT620AWT)
  • Dell 3007WFP monitor (30”, 2560x1600 max display resolution)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c
  • AMD Catalyst 7.2
  • Nvidia ForceWare 97.02 for GeForce 8
  • Nvidia ForceWare 97.92 for GeForce 8
  • Nvidia ForceWare 93.71 for GeForce 7

The graphics card drivers were set up in standard way to provide the highest possible quality of texture filtering.

ATI Catalyst:

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

Nvidia ForceWare:

  • Texture Filtering: High quality
  • Vertical sync: Off
  • Trilinear optimization: Off
  • Anisotropic optimization: Off
  • Anisotropic sample optimization: Off
  • Gamma correct antialiasing: On
  • Transparency antialiasing: Off
  • Other settings: by default

We selected the highest possible graphics quality level in each game, identical for ATI and Nvidia solutions. Performance was measured with the games’ own tools or, if not available, manually with Fraps utility. We also measured the minimum speed of the cards where possible.

To load the video subsystem to the full extent and to minimize the CPU influence on the performance we didn’t run the tests in “pure” speed mode. We only worked with “eye candy” mode with enabled full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. In this mode the graphics subsystem is utilized more rationally, and the image quality is much higher than in cases when anti-aliasing and/or anisotropic filtering are not enabled. We ran the tests in following test modes:

  • 1280x1024, FSAA 4x (if supported by application), AF 16x
  • 1600x1200, FSAA 4x (if supported by application), AF 16x
  • 1920x1200, FSAA 4x (if supported by application), AF 16x

We enabled FSAA and anisotropic filtering from the game’s menu. If this was not possible, we forced them using the appropriate driver settings of ATI Catalyst and Nvidia ForceWare.

Besides the Foxconn 8800 GTX we have also included the following graphics cards into our test session:

  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
  • Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2
  • ATI Radeon X1950 XTX

For our tests we used the following games and benchmarks:

First-Person 3D Shooters

  • Battlefield 2142
  • Call of Juarez
  • Far Cry
  • F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One
  • Prey
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

Third-Person 3D Shooters

  • Splinter Cell: Double Agent
  • Tomb Raider: Legend

RPG

  • Gothic 3
  • Neverwinter Nights 2
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Simulators

  • X3: Reunion

Strategies

  • Command & Conquer 3
  • Company of Heroes
  • Supreme Commander

Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3DMark05
  • Futuremark 3DMark06
 
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