Performance in Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks
Most shaders in Aquamark3 are pixel and vertex shaders 1.1: the benchmark has 220 of them. There are very few 2.0 shaders: 3 vertex shaders and 4 pixel shaders, and the number of instructions per shader doesn’t ever go beyond 50. RADEON X1600 XT can show its best in this test: the scenes here feature quite complex geometry, and the new ATI solution features 5 enhanced vertex processors working at 590MHz. Moreover, it can remove hidden surfaces very efficiently, which is very important for a test like Aquamark3 with high overdraw coefficient.
Unfortunately, low fillrate spoils the whole show. RADEON X1600 XT competed somehow with GeForce 6800 in lower resolutions, however in higher resolutions all it can do is try to scare away GeForce 6600 GT.
Final Fantasy XI Official Benchmark 3
Here we can observe a pretty funny situation: all testing participants except the leader - RADEON X800 XL, and the loser – GeForce 6600 GT, perform almost equally fast. I dare suppose that it is geometry processing speed that has certain influence on the results in this test: GeForce 600 GT works with geometry slower than everyone else, because it has only 3 vertex processors. If we take this criterion into account, RADEON X1600 XT shouldn’t be falling that far behind RADEON X800 XL. However, as we have already pointed out in our yesterday’s article called ATI RADEON X1800 XT and XL Performance: Crushing NVIDIA's 7800?, the texturing workload in FF XI Official Benchmark 3 is quite high, which could easily prevent the newcomer from catching up with the leader.