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Testbed and Methods

We tested the performance of Sapphire Toxic liquid-cooled Radeon X1900 XTX on the following platform:

  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU (2.60GHz, 2x1MB L2 cache)
  • AsusA8N32-SLI Deluxe mainboard (Nvidia nForce4 SLI X16 chipset) for Nvidia GeForce cards
  • AsusA8R32-MVP Deluxe mainboard (ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset) for ATI Radeon cards
  • OCZ PC3200 Platinum EL DDR SDRAM (2 x 1GB, CL2-3-2-5)
  • Maxtor MaXLine III 7B250S0 hard disk drive (Serial ATA-150, 16MB 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
  • ATI Catalyst 6.3
  • Nvidia ForceWare 84.21

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 Pacific Fighters flight simulator that requires vertex texturing for its Shader Model 3.0 rendering mode. Radeon X1000 doesn’t support this feature therefore we ran the game in Shader Model 2.0 in this case. We did not edit the configuration files of the games. To measure the performance we either used the integrated tools of the games we tested in, or if there were none available, resorted to FRAPS utility. If it was possible, we measured minimal performance as well.

To load the video subsystem to the full extent and to minimize the influence of the CPU speed on the performance results we didn’t test the systems in the “pure speed” mode. We only ran the tests in “eye candy” mode with full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. It is not only about more optimal use of the graphics subsystem potential. We get much higher image quality in this mode than in case no FSAA and/or no anisotropic filtering are used.

We turned on full-screen antialiasing and anisotropic filtering from the game’s own menu if possible. Otherwise we forced the necessary mode from the ATI Catalyst and Nvidia ForceWare graphics card driver. We didn’t test the card in overclocked mode, because the overall frequency increase during overclocking was not that significant.

Besides Sapphire Toxic liquid-cooled Radeon X1900 XTX, we have also included the following graphics cards:

These games and applications were used as benchmarks:

First-Person 3D Shooters

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

Third-Person 3D Shooters

  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Simulators

  • Pacific Fighters
  • X3: Reunion

Strategies

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

Semi-synthetic benchmarks

  • Aquamark3

Synthetic benchmarks

  • Futuremark 3DMark05 build 120
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 build 120
 
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