Synthetic Tests: Relief Imitation, Sprites Speed and more
Here’s another surprise for you: the NV40 is slow at processing point sprites, although doesn’t depend on the resolution. The latter fact again makes one think that the ForceWare 60.72 driver doesn’t work well with the new GeForce.
The GeForce 6800 Ultra doesn’t cope with the seemingly simple task of laying relief with the EMBM method! The new chip shows an acceptable result in 1600x1200 only, but that’s only due to the super-fast memory subsystem or some factor that limits the NV40 results. The problem seems to root in the driver, too.
The new GeForce feels better at rendering relief with the Dot3 method. Its results are definitely limited by some system bottleneck, not by the GPU performance. In higher resolutions, the GeForce 6800 Ultra is 1.5-2 times faster than its competitors.
The Ragtroll test shows the overall balance of the “CPU-driver-GPU” system and it confirms the superiority of the NV40.
Overall, the NV40 architecture and the GeForce 6800 Ultra card have a tremendous advantage over the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and RADEON 9800 XT. However, there are some troubles, particularly with EMBM relief rendering. They are most probably due to the unrefined driver (we used the ForceWare 60.72 driver in our tests). The rest of the tests agree that the NV40 is a really next-generation graphics processor that lifts us up to the new levels of performance and functionality.
We’d also like to stress the fact that the abominable speed of the NV40 doesn’t have anything to do with application-specific optimizations. This is the raw speed of the new architecture only. We are absolutely sure about that as Xbitmark is a test that never left our laboratories and thus couldn’t have been optimized for.
The results shown by the GeForce 6800 Ultra in synthetic tests promise a brilliant show in modern games. Let’s get to our gaming tests, then!