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Testbed and Methods

We tested the performance of the ATI Radeon X1900 series on this platform:

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.40GHz, 1MB L2 cache)
  • AsusA8N32-SLI Premium mainboard (Nvidia nForce4 SLI X16 chipset)
  • OCZ PC3200 Platinum EL DDR SDRAM (2 x 1GB, CL2-3-2-5)
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C hard disk drive (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card
  • Enermax Liberty 620W power supply (ELT620AWT, 620W)
  • Dell P1130 and Dell P1110 monitors (21”, 1800x1440@75Hz max display mode)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 with DirectX 9.0c
  • Catalyst 6.1 (with X1900 support)
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 81.98

We set up the ATI and Nvidia drivers in the same way as always:

ATI Catalyst:

  • Catalyst A.I.: Standard
  • Mipmap Detail Level: Quality
  • Wait for vertical refresh: Always off
  • Adaptive antialiasing: Off
  • Temporal antialiasing: Off
  • Quality AF: Off
  • Other settings: default

Nvidia ForceWare:

  • Image Settings: Quality
  • Vertical sync: Off
  • Trilinear optimization: On
  • Anisotropic mip filter optimization: Off
  • Anisotropic sample optimization: On
  • Gamma correct antialiasing: On
  • Transparency antialiasing: Off
  • Other settings: default

We select the highest graphics quality settings in each game, identical for graphics cards from ATI and Nvidia, except for the slight sim Pacific Fighters that requires vertex texturing for its SM 3.0 rendering mode. We do not edit the configuration files of the games. If possible, we use the in-game benchmarking tools to record and reproduce a demo and then measure the reproduction speed in frames per second. Otherwise we measure the frame rate with the FRAPS utility. If it is possible, we measure minimal as well as average fps rates to give you a fuller picture.

We turn on 4x full-screen antialiasing and 16x anisotropic filtering in the “eye candy” test mode from the game’s own menu if possible. Otherwise we force the necessary mode from the graphics card driver. We don’t use the “eye candy” mode at all if the game engine doesn’t support FSAA.

The following graphics cards took part in this test session, besides the Radeon X1900 series:

These games and applications were used as benchmarks:

3D Shooters with First-Person View

  • Battlefield 2
  • The Chronicles of Riddick
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Doom 3
  • Far Cry
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
  • Project Snowblind
  • Quake 4
  • Serious Sam 2
  • Unreal Tournament 2004

3D Shooters with Third-Person View

  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Simulators

  • Colin McRae Rally 2005
  • Pacific Fighters

Strategies

  • Age of Empires 3
  • Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War

Semi-synthetic benchmarks

  • Aquamark3
  • Final Fantasy XI Official Benchmark 3

Synthetic benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3Dmark2001 SE build 330
  • Futuremark 3DMark03 build 360
  • Futuremark 3DMark05 build 120
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 build 120
  • Marco Dolenc’s Fillrate Tester
  • Xbitmark version 0.65
 
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