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March 2004 3Digest








Monthly drivers report and popular 3D
accelerators comparison

Monthly 3D Digest is the project of iXBT.com devoted to releases of new Windows XP (monthly) and Windows 9x/ME (once in 4 months) drivers for popular videocards (released from the 10th of February 2004 to the 10th of March 2004). As usual, there are many diagrams containing the information on changes in operation of videocards at change to last version drivers, and also summary diagrams of popular modern videocards performance. Traditionally we provide the best price/performance information for our 3Digest. Quality aspects are reviewed in the section dedicated to Windows XP.

March 2004

The first Spring month didn't bring us anything worthy of steadfast attention. There was CeBIT 2004 still losing its authority that just offered PCI Express cards on long-known GPUs. Besides, GDDR-III memory entered the market. GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, of which NVIDIA is trying to make a more serious product, became the first to use it. And it seems GDDR-III might do the thing.

As for the rest, everything remained the same. The community is looking forward to the next generation of ATI and NVIDIA GPUs respectively codenamed R420 and NV40. While one of the hottest fights for the 3D throne is ahead, let's get back to our current business.

It's our 46th issue of 3Digest.

CONTENTS

  1. Testbed configurations and test software
  2. Tested videocards list
  3. What's new in 3Digest
  4. Test summary diagrams and digest bottom line
  5. 3D accelerator rating calculations for the end of the month
  6. Anisotropic filtering examination
  7. Examination of different antialiasing modes
  8. Screenshot gallery
  9. Games quality section



1. Testbed configuration



1.1. Pentium 4 3.2GHz-based system:

  • Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz (L2=512K) CPU, Hyper-Threading enabled;
  • ASUS P4C800 Deluxe motherboard on i875P chipset;
  • 1 GB DDR SDRAM PC3200;
  • Seagate Barracuda IV 40GB HDD;
  • Quantum FB AS 20GB HDD.

1.2. System on Athlon 64 3200+:

  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (L2=1024K);
  • ASUS K8V SE Deluxe motherboard on VIA K8T800;
  • 1 GB DDR SDRAM PC3200;
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80GB SATA HDD.

The testbed also features Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b, and is coupled with ViewSonic P810 (21"), ViewSonic P817-E (21") monitors.

The list of benchmarks is here

2. Videocard list

Below is the list of graphics cards that we tested. Each corresponding page contains the brief card description. Besides, some pages are dedicated to the latest drivers for cards on given GPUs. In the summary diagrams you can also see the performance results obtained on overclocked graphics cards.

Drivers released by videocard manufacturers are not taken into account (unless written by GPU manufacturers) because there are very many of them and it's impossible to test them all.

3D graphics quality screenshots are provided in our monthly updated Screenshot Gallery.

Cards list:

  1. ATI RADEON 9000 Pro 128MB DDR 3.6ns (275/550 MHz)
  2. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB DDR 4ns (250/400 MHz)
  3. ATI RADEON 9200 64MB 64bit DDR 5ns (250/400 MHz)
  4. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit DDR 6ns (200/333 MHz)
  5. ATI RADEON 9500 128MB 128bit DDR 3.6ns (275/540 MHz)
  6. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB DDR 4ns (325/400 MHz)
  7. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit DDR 4ns (325/400 MHz)
  8. ATI RADEON 9600 Pro 128MB DDR 2.8ns (400/600 MHz)
  9. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB DDR 5ns (325/400 MHz)
  10. ATI RADEON 9600 Pro 256MB DDR 5ns (400/400 MHz)
  11. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB DDR 3.3ns (500/600 MHz)
  12. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB DDR 2.8ns (525/650 MHz)
  13. ATI RADEON 9600XT 256MB DDR 3.3ns (500/650 MHz)

  14. ATI RADEON 9800SE 128MB 128bit DDR 3.3ns (325/540 MHz)
  15. ATI RADEON 9800SE 128MB DDR 2.8ns (360/680 MHz)
  16. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB DDR 3.3ns (325/580 MHz)
  17. ATI RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB DDR 2.8ns (380/680 MHz)
  18. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB DDR 2.5ns (412/730 MHz)
  19. NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8x 128MB DDR 4ns (250/513 MHz) *
  20. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB DDR 64bit 6ns (250/333 MHz)
  21. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB DDR 6ns (250/300 MHz)
  22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB DDR 5ns (250/400 MHz)
  23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB DDR 3.6ns (325/550 MHz)
  24. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit DDR 4ns (235/400 MHz)
  25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit DDR 4ns (235/400 MHz)
  26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB DDR 5ns (325/400 MHz)
  27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB DDR 3.6ns (325/500 MHz)
  28. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB DDR 3.6ns (425/550 MHz)
  29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 256MB DDR 3.6ns (425/500 MHz)
  30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB DDR2 2.2ns (475/900 MHz)
  31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB DDR 2.8ns (400/700 MHz)
  32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900EPV 128MB DDR 2.5ns (405/810 MHz)
  33. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB DDR 2.2ns (400/850 MHz)
  34. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Turbo 256MB DDR 2.2ns (410/850 MHz)
  35. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB DDR 2.2ns (450/850 MHz)
  36. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB DDR 2.0ns (475/950 MHz)
  37. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra-GT 256MB DDR 2.0ns (520/950 MHz)
  38. XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra 256MB DDR2 2ns (330/900 MHz)

(*) - temporarily returned from the archive.

Archive (videocards, which info is no longer updated)

3. March 2004 news and current business

  • 3.1. The following drivers were released from February 10, 2004 to March 10, 2004:

    • NVIDIA ForceWare for all NVIDIA cards:

      • Windows XP: 56.56


    • ATI Catalyst for all ATI cards:

      • Windows XP: 6.430;


    These and other drivers are available for download at drivers.ixbt.com, riva.ixbt.com

  • 3.2. This month we used 56.56 drivers for NVIDIA cards summaries; 6.430 drivers for ATI cards summaries.

4. Summary graphics card performance charts for the latest drivers available at the moment of testing in March 2004

5. 3D accelerator ratings calculations for the end of the month


Anyone who wants to conduct his own rating calculations with his own values may download this Excel table (Office'3-'0) in RAR 3.0 and ZIP format.

The method of rating calculation is described here.

Calculations were conducted considering the following assumptions:

  1. Windows XP is used;
  2. Percentage of performance and quality demand ratio:
    • Performance priority - 60%
    • Quality priority - 40%

  3. ONLY 1600x1200@32bpp resolution was used for the prospect rating;
  4. Usability ratings are separated into the three sections: High-End, Middle-End, and Low-End. Each rating features its own expenses for system upgrade. All this is considered in APG parameter that is 100 for Low-End, 250 for Middle-End, and 151 for High-End. We believe that if a user wants to purchase a very expensive and powerful accelerator, he understands the inanity of installing it into a Low-End PC. So we separated the usability rating for different PC levels.

Usability rating (rating from the previous 3Digest is in parentheses):

Usability rating: card price + $500

1. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz
(1)
2. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz
(2)
3. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz
(3)
4. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz
(4)
5. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz
(5)
6. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz
(6)
7. ATI RADEON 9600XT 256MB, 500/650 MHz
(--)
8. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz
(7)
9. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz
(10)
10. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(9)
11. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz
(8)
12. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 256MB, 400/400 MHz
(11)
13. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz
(13)
14. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz
(14)
15. ATI RADEON 9500 128MB 128bit, 275/540 MHz
(12)
16. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900EPV 128MB, 405/810 MHz
(15)
17. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz
(17)
18. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz
(18)
19. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz
(20)
20. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Turbo 256MB, 410/850 MHz
(16)
21. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz
(23)
22. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz
(21)
23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra-GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz
(19)
24. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 256MB, 425/500 MHz
(24)
25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz
(22)
26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/500 MHz
(25)
27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(26)
28. NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200-8x 128MB, 250/512 MHz
(27)
29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(28)
30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/300 MHz
(30)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz
(29)
32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz
(31)
33. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz
(32)
34. ATI RADEON 9000 Pro 128MB, 275/550 MHz
(33)
35. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(34)
36. ATI RADEON 9200 64MB 64bit, 250/400 MHz
(35)
37. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz
(36)
38. XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra 256MB, 330/900 MHz
(37)


Usability rating: card price + $250

1. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz
(1)
2. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz
(2)
3. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz
(3)
4. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz
(5)
5. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz
(4)
6. ATI RADEON 9600XT 256MB, 500/650 MHz
(--)
7. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz
(8)
8. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz
(9)
9. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz
(6)
10. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(7)
11. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 256MB, 400/400 MHz
(10)
12. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz
(12)
13. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz
(13)
14. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz
(14)
15. ATI RADEON 9500 128MB 128bit, 275/540 MHz
(11)
16. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz
(16)
17. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz
(20)
18. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz
(15)
19. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz
(17)
20. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900EPV 128MB, 405/810 MHz
(18)
21. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 256MB, 425/500 MHz
(23)
22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/500 MHz
(24)
23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(21)
24. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz
(25)
25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz
(27)
26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Turbo 256MB, 410/850 MHz
(19)
27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(22)
28. NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200-8x 128MB, 250/512 MHz
(26)
29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/300 MHz
(28)
30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra-GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz
(29)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz
(30)
32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz
(31)
33. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz
(32)
34. ATI RADEON 9000 Pro 128MB, 275/550 MHz
(33)
35. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(34)
36. ATI RADEON 9200 64MB 64bit, 250/400 MHz
(35)
37. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz
(36)
38. XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra 256MB, 330/900 MHz
(37)


Usability rating: card price + $100

1. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz
(4)
2. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz
(1)
3. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz
(3)
4. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz
(2)
5. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz
(6)
6. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz
(5)
7. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(7)
8. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz
(9)
9. ATI RADEON 9600XT 256MB, 500/650 MHz
(--)
10. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 256MB, 400/400 MHz
(8)
11. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz
(10)
12. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz
(14)
13. ATI RADEON 9500 128MB 128bit, 275/540 MHz
(11)
14. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz
(12)
15. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(13)
16. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz
(23)
17. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz
(15)
18. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/300 MHz
(16)
19. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz
(17)
20. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/500 MHz
(22)
21. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz
(20)
22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(18)
23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz
(21)
24. NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200-8x 128MB, 250/512 MHz
(19).
25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 256MB, 425/500 MHz
(25)
26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz
(24)
27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900EPV 128MB, 405/810 MHz
(27)
28. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz
(26)
29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz
(29)
30. ATI RADEON 9000 Pro 128MB, 275/550 MHz
(28)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz
(34)
32. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz
(32)
33. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(30)
34. ATI RADEON 9200 64MB 64bit, 250/400 MHz
(33)
35. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Turbo 256MB, 410/850 MHz
(31)
36. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz
(35)
37. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra-GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz
(36)
38. XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra 256MB, 330/900 MHz
(37)

Prospect rating (previous rating is in parenthesis):

1. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz
(1)
2. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz
(2)
3. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra-GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz
(3)
4. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz
(4)
5. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz
(6)
6. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz
(5)
7. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Turbo 256MB, 410/850 MHz
(7)
8. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz
(8)
9. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900EPV 128MB, 405/810 MHz
(9)
10. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz
(10)
11. ATI RADEON 9600XT 256MB, 500/650 MHz
(--)
12. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz
(11)
13. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz
(12)
14. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz
(13)
15. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz
(15)
16. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz
(14)
17. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz
(16)
18. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 256MB, 425/500 MHz
(17)
19. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz
(18)
20. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 256MB, 400/400 MHz
(21)
21. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(19)
22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz
(22)
23. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz
(20)
24. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/500 MHz
(23)
25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 256MB, 325/400 MHz
(25)
26. ATI RADEON 9500 128MB 128bit, 275/540 MHz
(24)
27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz
(26)
28. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(27)
29. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz
(28)
30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/300 MHz
(29)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz
(30)
32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz
(31)
33. NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200-8x 128MB, 250/512 MHz
(32)
34. ATI RADEON 9000 Pro 128MB, 275/550 MHz
(33)
35. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz
(34)
36. ATI RADEON 9200 64MB 64bit, 250/400 MHz
(35)
37. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz
(36)
38. XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra 256MB, 330/900 MHz
(37)


Games quality section



6. Anisotropic filtering examination

Anisotropic filtering examination on the example of Call Of Duty (OpenGL) and Unreal 2: The Awakening (Direct3D), (Windows XP)

7. Antialiasing examination

Antialiasing examination in Serious Sam:The Second Encounter (OpenGL), and Unreal 2: The Awakening (Direct3D), (Windows XP)

8. Games screenshot gallery

All test screenshots are compiled into a gallery where you can qualify the work of a chosen videocard and compare it to the reference images taken on ATI Radeon 9500. All shots were taken at the same 1024x768 resolution at the maximum quality. Screenshot gallery

9. Games artefacts gallery

Games quality section

B akehe otmetm, to ha cate Driver.Ru moho hat cbee bepc pabepob, ytt, pobok BIOS t..

We thank all the companies that provided us with graphics cards and other equipment for our 3Digest, including:






HIS (Peter Yueng personally)


,






Ha 3DGiToam ootbopho yctao :-) paota:
Kirill Budankov (budankov@ixbt.com) Danil Gridasov (degust@ixbt.com)








and Andrew Vorobyev (anvakams@ixbt.com)







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