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Testbed and Methods

We performed our tests on a testbed configured like follows:

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.40GHz, 1MB L2 cache);
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe mainboard;
  • 2 x 512MB 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 sound card.

Since there is no PCI Express version of the GeForce 6800 in the market, we tested it on another testbed configured as follows (the results on the graphs and in the tables are marked with *):

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.40GHz, 1MB L2 cache);
  • ABIT KV8 Pro mainboard;
  • 2 x 512MB 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 sound card.

Software:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c;
  • ATI Catalyst 5.2;
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 66.93.

For the comparison’s sake we included the following cards into this review:

PCI Express hardware:

AGP hardware:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB (325/700MHz).

The Catalyst A.I. option was set to “Standard”, and the Mipmap Detail Level option to “Quality”. We enabled the ForceWare optimizations save for the Anisotropic mip filter optimization, using the Quality mode. We disabled VSync in the drivers for all the participating cards.

We turned on full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering from the game’s own menu. Otherwise we forced the necessary mode from the driver. The maximum graphics quality settings were selected in each game, the same for graphics cards on ATI’s and NVIDIA’s GPUs. We used the GeForce 6600 GT SLI configuration in the Multi-GPU Rendering mode which enables the multi-GPU mode in games for which this mode is not officially supported by ForceWare.

First-Person 3D Shooters:

  • Doom III;
  • Unreal Tournament 2004;
  • The Chronicles of Riddick;
  • Far Cry;
  • Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell;
  • Half-Life 2;

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 05;

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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