Performance in Synthetic Benchmarks
Although three of 3DMark03’s four game tests are favorable to GeForce 6/7 graphics cards, the Sapphire RADEON X1800 XL scores only 639 points less than the GeForce 7800 GT. Well, this is probably because the overall scores are by default based on the results in 1026x768 resolution without full-screen antialiasing. By the way, we can note once again that the new version of the Catalyst driver brings no performance improvements. But let’s examine the results of each of the tests.
The first test doesn’t go beyond the fixed T&L functions and lacks pixel as well as vertex shaders. The RADEON X1000 architecture is not optimized to emulate fixed T&L, so it is quite natural that the Sapphire card lost this round. Note that the gap between the Sapphire and the GeForce 7800 GT is only growing up as the resolution becomes higher.
The reviewed card does better in the second test and even outperforms its main rival in the “eye candy” mode despite the scene’s employing stencil shadows. There are still no changes as against the older version of Catalyst.