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Testbed and Methods

For this occasion we rolled out our standard PCI Express platform that consists of:

  • Intel Pentium 4 560 CPU (Socket 775, 3.60GHz, 1MB L2 cache);
  • Intel Desktop Board D925XCV;
  • 2x512MB PC2-4300 DDR2 SDRAM from Micron Technology;
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C hard disk drive (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer);
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 audio card.

Software:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c;
  • ATI Catalyst 4.12;
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 66.93.

We compared the performance of the PowerColor X700 PRO to that of the following devices:

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

We turned on full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering from the game’s own menu. If the game didn’t offer this option, we forced the necessary mode from the driver. In all cases we only adjusted those settings which were accessible to any user; we didn’t change the games’ configuration files. 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 following games and benchmarks in our tests:

First-Person 3D Shooters

  • Call of Duty: United Offensive
  • Doom 3
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Far Cry
  • Painkiller
  • Half-Life 2
  • Counter-Strike: Source

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: Modern Air Combat
  • Colin McRae Rally 04

Strategy Games

  • Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour
  • Perimeter

Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Final Fantasy XI Official Benchmark 3
  • AquaMark3

Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3DMark 03 Build 3.5.0
  • Futuremark 3DMark 05 Build 1.1.0
 
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