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Testbed and Methods

We performed our tests on the following testbed:

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ processor (2.40GHz, 1MB L2 cache)
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe mainboard
  • 2x512MB OCZ PC-3200 Platinum EB DDR SDRAM (CL2.5-3-2-8)
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C hard disk drive (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 audio card

Software:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 with DirectX 9.0c
  • ATI Catalyst 5.4
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 71.89

Besides the MSI NX6800GT we also tested the following graphics cards:

Following our traditional methodology, we enabled the ForceWare optimizations, except the Anisotropic mip filter optimization. The Image settings slider was set to the Quality position. In ATI’s Catalyst we enabled Catalyst A.I. using the Standard mode. The Mipmap Detail Level option was set to Quality. We disabled the VSync option in both drivers.

If possible, we control FSAA and anisotropic filtering from the application. Otherwise, we force the necessary mode from the driver. We don’t edit any configuration files. The graphics quality settings in the games were set to the maximum level, the same for graphics cards from NVIDIA and ATI Technologies. The following games and applications were used:

First Person 3D Shooters:

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

Third Person 3D Shooters:

  • Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Simulators:

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

Strategies:

  • Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War
  • Perimeter

Semi-synthetic Benchmarks

  • Aquamark3
  • Final Fantasy

Synthetic Benchmarks

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