3DMark03 Gaming Tests
The 3DMark03 benchmarking set provoked a lot of critical remarks from independent reviewers as well as from NVIDIA. So, at first we didn’t want to use this software in the GeForce FX review. But this graphics card showed such interesting results in 3DMark03 – or I would even say illustrative results - that we decided to post them.
The graphics cards were benchmarked in the “Balanced” mode, that is, with the default drivers settings.
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra shows a certain advantage over ATI RADEON 9700 PRO. This is the simplest test from 3DMark03. It uses ver.1.1 vertex shaders and no pixel shaders.
Full-screen anti-aliasing lets GeForce FX down: the graphics memory bus bandwidth greatly affects the overall result here and it is not among GeForce FX’s strong points.
Here NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra uses its anisotropic filtering in the “Balanced” mode, while RADEON 9700 PRO – higher-quality and slower variation of anisotropic filtering from ATI. This explains the higher results of NVIDIA GeForce FX.
With the “heaviest” settings, NVIDIA GeForce 5800 Ultra stays at the top only in 1024x768 resolution.
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra beats ATI RADEON 9700 PRO to nothing! Its flexible NV30 architecture must have shown itself here, at last.
The Game2 scene has several light sources. Each of them casts shadows processed in real time with the help of the stencil-buffer. The engine of the test is built in such a way that the graphics card has to process the stencil-buffer for each light source before the final scene-rendering. NVIDIA GeForce FX performs this procedure at a double speed: when the color is not written into the frame-buffer, it shapes itself up into an eight-pipelines structure and processes eight pixels from the stencil-buffer per clock.
This faster work with the stencil-buffer must have helped GeForce FX 5800 Ultra outperform its ATI’s rival.