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Testbed and Methods

To test the performance of Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT we assembled the following standard test platform:

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor (3.0GHz, FSB 1333MHz x 9);  
  • DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G (ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset for Intel/ATI RD600) for ATI Radeon based graphics cards;
  • Asus P5N32-E SLI mainboard (Nvidia nForce 680i SLI chipset) for Nvidia GeForce based graphics cards;
  • Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5 (2x1GB, 1066MHz, 5-5-5-15, 2T);
  • Maxtor MaXLine III 7B250S0 HDD (250GB, Serial ATA-150, 16MB buffer);
  • Enermax Galaxy DXX EGX1000EWL 1000W power supply;
  • Dell 3007WFP monitor (30", 2560x1600@60Hz max display resolution);
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit;
  • ATI Catalyst 7.10;
  • Nvidia ForceWare 163.69;
  • Nvidia ForceWare 169.02 for GeForce 8800 GT.

Since we believe that the use of texture filtering optimizations is not justified in this case, the ATI and Nvidia graphics card drivers were set up to provide the highest possible quality of tri-linear and anisotropic filtering. Also, to ensure maximum image quality, we enabled transparent texture filtering - Adaptive (multi-sampling) antialiasing for ATI Catalyst and Antialiasing – Transparency: multisampling for Nvidia ForceWare. As a result, our ATI and Nvidia driver settings looked as follows:

ATI Catalyst:

  • Catalyst A.I.: Standard
  • Mipmap Detail Level: High Quality
  • High Quality AF: On
  • Wait for vertical refresh: Always Off
  • Enable Adaptive Anti-Aliasing: On/Quality
  • Method: Multi-sampling
  • Temporal Anti-Aliasing: Off
  • Other settings: default

Nvidia ForceWare:

  • Texture filtering - Quality: High quality
  • Texture filtering - Trilinear optimization: Off
  • Texture filtering – Anisotropic sample optimization: Off
  • Vertical sync: Force off
  • Antialiasing - Gamma correction: On
  • Antialiasing - Transparency: Multisampling
  • Other settings: default

For our tests we used the following games and benchmarks:

First-Person 3D Shooters

  • Battlefield 2142
  • Bioshock
  • Call of Juarez
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
  • Far Cry
  • F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

Third-Person 3D Shooters

  • Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
  • Tomb Raider: Legend

RPG

  • Gothic 3
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Strategies

  • Company of Heroes

Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3DMark05
  • Futuremark 3DMark06

We selected the highest possible graphics quality level in each game using standard tools provided by the game itself from the gaming menu. The games configuration files weren’t modified in any way. Games supporting DirectX 10 were tested only in this mode. Performance was measured with the games’ own tools or, if not available, manually with Fraps utility version 2.9.1. We also measured the minimum speed of the cards where possible.

With a few exceptions, the tests were performed in the following standard resolutions: 1280x1024/960, 1600x1200 and 1920x1200/1440. We used “eye candy” mode everywhere, where it was possible without disabling the HDR/Shader Model 3.0/Shader Model 4.0. Namely, we ran the tests with enabled anisotropic filtering as well as MSAA 4x antialiasing. We enabled them from the game’s menu. If this was not possible, we forced them using the appropriate driver settings of Catalyst and ForceWare drivers

Leadtek WinFast PX8800 GT Extreme will be competing against the following graphics accelerators participating in our test session:

  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB (G80, 513/1188/1600MHz, 96sp, 24tmu, 20rop, 320-bit, 320MB)
  • Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS (G84, 675/1450/2000MHz, 32sp, 16tmu, 8rop, 128-bit, 256MB)
  • ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB (R600, 742/1650MHz, 320sp, 16tmu, 16rop, 512-bit, 512MB GDDR3)
  • ATI Radeon HD 2900 Pro 512MB (R600, 600/1600MHz, 320sp, 16tmu, 16rop, 512-bit, 512MB GDDR3)
  • ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT GDDR4 (RV630, 800/2200MHz, 120sp, 8tmu, 4rop, 128-bit, 256MB GDDR4)

Since Leadtek solution runs at increased GPU and memory speeds, we tested it in two different modes: as is and with the frequencies dropped down to the reference values for Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT.

 
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