Articles: Graphics

Bookmark and Share

Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 ]

Testbed and Methods

The battle field for Sapphire HD 4850 X2 2G/1G GDDR3 and Leadtek WinFast GTX 280 will be our new universal testbed configured as follows:

  • Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition processor (3.2GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI);  
  • Asus P6T Deluxe mainboard (Intel X58 Express chipset);
  • Corsair XMS3-12800C9 (3x2GB, 1333MHz, 9-9-9-24, 2T);
  • Maxtor MaXLine III 7B250S0 HDD (250GB, Serial ATA-150, 16MB buffer);
  • Enermax Galaxy DXX EGX1000EWL 1000W power supply;
  • Dell 3007WFP monitor (30", 2560x1600@60Hz max display resolution);
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit;
  • ATI Catalyst 8.12 for ATI Radeon HD;
  • Nvidia GeForce 180.48 WHQL for Nvidia GeForce.

The graphics card drivers are configured in the same way as before: to provide the highest possible quality of texture filtering and to minimize the effect of software optimizations used by default by both: AMD/ATI and Nvidia. Also, to ensure maximum image quality, we enabled transparent texture filtering, and we used multisampling mode for both graphics architectures, because ATI solutions do not support supersampling for this function. As a result, our ATI and Nvidia driver settings looked as follows:

ATI Catalyst:

  • Smoothvision HD: Anti-Aliasing: Use application settings/Box Filter
  • Catalyst A.I.: Standard
  • Mipmap Detail Level: High Quality
  • Wait for vertical refresh: Always Off
  • Enable Adaptive Anti-Aliasing: On/Quality
  • Other settings: default

Nvidia GeForce:

  • Texture filtering – Quality: High quality
  • Texture filtering – Trilinear optimization: Off
  • Texture filtering – Anisotropic sample optimization: Off
  • Vertical sync: Force off
  • Antialiasing - Gamma correction: On
  • Antialiasing - Transparency: Multisampling
  • Other settings: default

We made a lot of changes to the list of games and benchmarks we normally use for our tests. As a result, it currently includes the following titles:

First-Person 3D Shooters

  • Call of Duty: World at War
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
  • Far Cry 2
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

Third-Person 3D Shooters

  • Dead Space
  • Devil May Cry 4
  • Grand Theft Auto IV


  • Fallout 3
  • Mass Effect


  • Race Driver: GRID
  • X³: Terran Conflict


  • Red Alert 3
  • Spore
  • World in Conflict

Semi-synthetic Benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3DMark06
  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

As before, we selected the highest possible level of detail in each game using standard tools provided by the game itself from the gaming menu. The games configuration files weren’t modified in any way, because the user doesn’t have to know how to do it. We made a few exceptions for selected games if that was necessary. We are going to specifically dwell on each exception like that later on in our article.

Besides Sapphire HD 4850 X2 2G/1G GDDR3 and Leadtek WinFast GTX 280 cards we have also included the following graphics accelerators to participate in our test session:

  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 (RV770, 750/750/3600MHz, 800sp, 40tmu, 16rbe, 256-bit, 1024MB GDDR5)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 (G200, 576/1242/2000MHz, 216sp, 72tmu, 28rbe, 448-bit, 896MB GDDR3)

We ran our tests in the following resolutions: 1280x1024, 1680x1050, 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. The latter was only used for our today’s heroes and for ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2. Everywhere, where it was possible we ran the tests with enabled MSAA 4x antialiasing and anisotropic filtering 16x. We enabled them from the game’s menu. If this was not possible, we forced them using the appropriate driver settings of ATI Catalyst and Nvidia ForceWare drivers. As we have already said, we didn’t modify the games configurations files.

Performance was measured with the games’ own tools and the original demos were recorded if possible. Otherwise, the performance was measured manually with Fraps utility version 2.9.6. In the latter case we ran the test three times and took the average of the three for the performance charts. We measured not only the average speed, but also the minimum speed of the cards where possible.

Well, let the battle begin!

Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 ]


Comments currently: 66
Discussion started: 01/12/09 04:23:12 PM
Latest comment: 09/02/16 04:05:09 AM

View comments

Add your Comment