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Noise, Overclocking, 2D Quality

This graphics cad couldn’t boast a total lack of noise – the small fan produced some noise which was quite perceptible against the sounds of other system components, but there was no annoying hiss as with the PowerColor X600 XT. So, the acoustic properties of the Trinity PCX 5750 can be considered acceptable.

Overclocking yielded excellent results: the card was stable at 540/300 (600DDR) MHz, its nominal frequencies being 425/250 (500DDR) MHz! Thus, this graphics card surpassed all other GPUs from NVIDIA in the core frequency, including the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra with its 500MHz. The relatively small memory overclocking gain is explained by the simplified PCB design and the use of TSOP-packaged chips with a rather high access time by today’s standards. Anyway, 300 (600DDR) MHz is excellent for memory chips rated to work at 275 (550DDR) MHz.

The quality of 2D image was no worse than with the PowerColor X600 XT, i.e. it was normal in all resolutions up to 1600x1200@75Hz inclusive. Well, it’s quite difficult to meet a graphics card that would output a bad 2D image nowadays – the manufacturers usually take care about that.

Testbed and Methods

We explored the two above-described graphics cards on a testbed configured as follows:

  • Intel Pentium 4 560 CPU (Socket 775, 3.60GHz, 1MB L2 cache);
  • Intel Desktop Board D925CXC;
  • 2x512MB Micron Technology PC2-4300 (533MHz) DDR2 SDRAM;
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP0812C (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer);
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2;
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0?;
  • ATI CATALYST 4.8, NVIDIA ForceWare 61.77.

We used the following games and benchmarks for our tests:

First Person 3D Shooters:

  • Call of Duty;
  • Doom 3;
  • Unreal Tournament 2004;
  • Halo: Combat Evolved;
  • Far Cry;
  • Painkiller;
  • Counter Strike: Source Beta

Third Person 3D Shooters:

  • Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow;
  • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time;
  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.

Simulators:

  • IL-2 Sturmovik: Aces in the Sky;
  • Lock On;
  • Colin McRae Rally 04;

Strategy:

  • Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour;
  • Perimeter.

Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks:

  • Aquamark3.

Synthetic Benchmarks:

  • Futuremark 3DMark03 build 340.

We selected the best possible graphics quality settings in each applications – the same for cards on GPUs from ATI and NVIDIA. The only exception is Doom 3: we used the Medium Quality settings for this game as recommended by id Software for mainstream graphics cards equipped with 128MB of graphics memory. We also enabled tri-linear and anisotropic filtering optimizations in the ForceWare driver. Again, since the tested cards are middle-range products, we don’t publish absolutely unplayable results we got in some operational modes of the more demanding games.

 
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