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Performance in Synthetic Benchmarks

Futuremark 3DMark06

The overall 3DMark06 score is disappointing. The GeForce GTX 280 couldn’t outperform the dual-chip GeForce 9800 GX2 and Radeon HD 3870 X2 or the single-chip Radeon HD 4870 on our testbed. That’s not the result you could expect from a 1.4-billion-transistor chip claiming to be the fastest GPU available. The junior model of the new series is not good, either. It barely scored 12,000 points.

Oddly enough, the GeForce 9800 GX2 can’t repeat the successful performance of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 in the SM2.0 tests. It is somewhat slower than Nvidia’s single-core solutions (including the new G200-based) ones as well as the ATI Radeon HD 4870. In the SM3.0/HDR tests the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 is but barely better than the GeForce 9800 GX2. The new Radeon HD 4870 is behind both dual-processor cards but scores 7,000 points. The GeForce GTX 280 and 260 do not impress in this test.

It is in the first SH2.0/HDR test that the GeForce GTX 280 shows what a monolithic GPU with 80 texture processors is capable of. It is almost as fast as the dual-processor GeForce 9800 GX2 that has a total of 128 TMUs. The GeForce GTX 260 is good, too. It is ahead of the Radeon HD 4870 and inferior only to the mentioned two cards from Nvidia.

The second test is indicative of the more efficient processing of complex geometry in the G200 chip. The senior graphics card with the new GPU is only inferior to the two G92 chips installed on the GeForce 9800 GX2 whereas the junior model is as fast as the Radeon HD 4870, which is a success considering that they come at the same recommended price.

ATI is still on the winning side in the SM3.0/HDR tests with its high-computing-capacity solutions. The GeForce GTX 280 is barely ahead of the Radeon HD 4870 in both tests but is beaten by the Radeon HD 3870 X2. The GeForce GTX 260 has disappointing results due to the cut-down configuration of its core.

So, we don’t have any new records in 3DMark06. Will 3DMark Vantage reveal the full potential of Nvidia’s new graphics cards?

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