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Testbed and Methods

For our test session we assembled a standard test platform with the following specifications:

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.40GHz, 1MB L2);
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe mainboard (NVIDIA nForce4 SLI);
  • OCZ PC-3200 Platinum EB DDR SDRAM (2x512МБ, CL2.5 3-2-8);
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C HDD (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer);
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card;
  • Cooler Master Real Power 450 PSU (RS-450-ACLY, nominal power: 450W);
  • Dell P1130/Dell P1110 monitors (21”, maximum resolution: 1800х1440х75Hz)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c.

For a more illustrative comparison we also included the results of a few other graphics cards in the nominal and overclocked mode, as well as in SLI configuration:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX SLI
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI
  • ATI RADEON X850 XT PE.

Here are the driver versions we used:

  • NVIDIA ForceWare 77.77;
  • ATI CATALYST 5.7.

According to the standard performance evaluation methodology and our testing approaches, we enabled all NVIDIA ForceWare optimizations, except Anisotropic mip filter optimization. Image Settings engine was set to Quality mode. Also, we enabled Gamma correct antialiasing option. For ATI CATALYST we set CATALYST A.I. function to Standard, and Mipmap Detail Level - to Quality. VSync was disabled for both driver versions.

We used the settings and control tools offered by the gaming applications to adjust the full-screen antialiasing and anisotropic filtering levels. In case there were no options for these parameters, we forced the desired mode from the drivers. The level of detail was set to the maximum in each game and was the same for ATI and NVIDIA solutions.

We used the following benchmarks and games in our today’s test session.

First Person 3D Shooters:

  • Battlefield 2
  • Chronicles of Riddick
  • Doom 3
  • Far Cry
  • Far Cry HDR
  • F.E.A.R. Multiplayer Demo
  • Half-Life 2
  • Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell
  • Pariah
  • Project Snowblind
  • Unreal Tournament 2004

Third Person 3D Shooters:

  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Simulators:

  • Colin McRae Rally 2005
  • Il-2 Sturmovik: Aces in the Sky
  • Lock On: Modern Air Combat

Strategies:

  • Act of War
  • Perimeter
  • Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War

Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks:

  • Aquamark3
  • Final Fantasy

Synthetic Benchmarks:

  • Futuremark 3DMark03, build 360
  • Futuremark 3DMark05, build 120
 
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