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Testbed and Methods

The testbed was configured like follows:

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.40GHz, 1MB L2 cache)
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe mainboard
  • OCZ PC-3200 Platinum EB DDR SDRAM (2x512MB, CL2.5-3-2-8)
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C hard disk drive (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 audio card
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c

Graphics cards:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB (430/1200MHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB (400/1100MHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB (350/1000MHz)
  • ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition 256MB (540/1180MHz)
  • ATI RADEON X800 XL 256MB (400/980MHz)

We also tested SLI configurations based on GeForce 7800 GTX and GeForce 6800 Ultra.

Drivers:

  • NVIDIA ForceWare 77.62
  • ATI Catalyst 5.6

We installed ForceWare 77.62, NVIDIA’s new-generation driver of the so-called ForceWare Release 75, to test the GeForce 7800 GTX. This is the first version of ForceWare to support the new graphics processor from NVIDIA. It differs from the older official driver (version 71.89) in improved HDTV support, added game profiles, full OpenGL 2.0support, and the option for selecting a SLI mode. The interface of the control panel of the new driver has changed and become handier. We chose the following settings for the time of our tests:

           

The Gamma correct antialiasing and Transparency antialiasing options are available only if a GeForce 7800 GTX is installed in the system. These options would be missing for a GeForce 6800 Ultra. The rest of the settings were selected in the same way. We chose the Catalyst A.I Standard mode in ATI Catalyst 5.6 and set the Mipmap Detail Level to “Quality”. The VSync option was disabled in both drivers.

 
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