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November'2001 3Digest: videocard perfomance comparison on VIA P4X266 and i850 platforms

By Andrey Vorobiev

Quake3, demo002 - standard settings

Quake3, quaver - maximum settings

Giants - maximum settings

3DMark2001, Game3 - High Details

I shall remind that VIA P4X266 platform for Pentium4 means use of DDR-memory instead of still expensive RDRAM, however bandwidth of even such "accelerated" memory is still lower than that of RDRAM PC800. However, our tests showed that on the example of some games the final perfomance difference is not so essential, and sometimes even perfomance of cards on VIA P4X266 platform is higher than that on i850. They are not so significant (some shouldn't be taken into account at all due to precision of measurements).

It is interesting that with resolution increase the difference between platforms decreases (as it should be, actually). There is some ambiguity in this situation. On the whole we can see the superiority of i850 platform at low resolutions with powerful accelerators, and with resolution increase it levels and even turns to a lag behind VIA P4X266.

Thus we can draw a conclusion that some perfomance advance of i850 platform at 1024x768 resolution is partly compensated by falloff comparing to VIA P4X266 at 1600x1200 (at 1280x1024 situation is just obscure and unpredictable, look at Giants, VIA PX4266 is just the best on some cards in this game). Taking into account, certainly, that very few users play at 1600x1200, we can think that i850 has hardly won. However, RDRAM price at once negates this pity score and we might rather optimistically expect appearance of i845D mainboards with DDR SDRAM support on the market. As well as pay attention to VIA P4X266 boards (that are still difficult to get for known reasons).

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