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June 2004 3Digest

July 13, 2004





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 May 10, 2004 toJune 10, 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.

This is our 49th ANNIVERSARY issue.

June 2004

Though I'd like to shout "WE'RE 4 YEARS OLD!", like I did previously. But I also realize this scream will be somewhat sad, because today this project evolves in a rather hard way, as interest to 3D is much negated by the lack of new products and high prices.

But there's always a way to evolve. Chances are we'll redesign the project and create a permanent database that will contain all data gathered. This database will be periodically updated, and from time to time we'll be making "data slices" to analyze new results.

And we'd like to thank every person that helped us with our project in due time.































I also like to thank Alexander Kondratyuk aka render, whose BenchEmAll is a heart of our testing nowadays.

Many thanks to our Alexander Vorobiev that visits lands so far, discovers treasure chests with graphics cards and provides us with new test subjects.

And many thanks also go to local offices of major vendors: NVIDIA, ATI, Gigabyte, ASUSTeK, Sapphire. Lots of thanks to Jerry Chen from Leadtek, Peter Yeung from HIS.



CONTENTS

  1. Testbed configurations and test software
  2. Tested graphics cards
  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:

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.

We also used Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b, 21" ViewSonic P810 monitor.

The list of benchmarks is here

2. Videocard list

Below is a list of graphics cards that we tested linked to respective 3Digest feature-description pages.

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 9200 128MB DDR 4ns (250/400 MHz)
  2. ATI RADEON 9200 SE 128MB 64bit DDR 6ns (200/333 MHz)
  3. ATI RADEON 9550 128MB DDR 4ns (250/400 MHz)
  4. ATI RADEON 9550XT 128MB DDR 3.3ns (400/500 MHz)
  5. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB DDR 4ns (325/400 MHz)
  6. ATI RADEON 9600 SE 128MB 64bit DDR 4ns (325/400 MHz)
  7. ATI RADEON 9600 Pro 128MB DDR 2.8ns (400/600 MHz)
  8. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB DDR 5ns (325/400 MHz)
  9. ATI RADEON 9600 XT 128MB DDR 3.3ns (500/600 MHz)
  10. ATI RADEON 9600 XT 128MB DDR 2.8ns (525/650 MHz)
  11. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit DDR 3.3ns (325/540 MHz)
  12. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB DDR 2.8ns (360/680 MHz)
  13. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB DDR 3.3ns (325/580 MHz)
  14. ATI RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB DDR 2.8ns (380/680 MHz)
  15. ATI RADEON 9800 Pro 256MB DDR 2.8ns (380/680 MHz)
  16. ATI RADEON 9800 XT 256MB DDR 2.5ns (412/730 MHz)
  17. ATI RADEON X800 Pro 256MB DDR3 2.0ns (475/890 MHz)
  18. ATI RADEON X800 XT 256MB DDR3 1.6ns (525/1150 MHz)
  19. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB DDR 64bit 6ns (250/333 MHz)
  20. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB DDR 5ns (250/400 MHz)
  21. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 128MB DDR 5ns (270/400 MHz)
  22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB DDR 3.6ns (325/550 MHz)
  23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 XT 128MB 64bit DDR 4ns (235/400 MHz)
  24. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 XT 128MB 128bit DDR 4ns (235/400 MHz)
  25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 LE 128MB DDR 5ns (250/400 MHz)
  26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB DDR 3.6ns (425/550 MHz)
  27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB DDR2 2.2ns (475/900 MHz)
  28. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB DDR3 2.0ns (475/950 MHz)
  29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT 128MB DDR 2.8ns (400/700 MHz)
  30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB DDR 2.2ns (400/850 MHz)
  31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB DDR 2.2ns (450/850 MHz)
  32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB DDR 2.0ns (475/950 MHz)
  33. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra-GT 256MB DDR 2.0ns (520/950 MHz)
  34. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB DDR 2.8ns (325/700 MHz)
  35. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB DDR3 1.6ns (350/1000 MHz)
  36. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB DDR3 1.6ns (400/1100 MHz)
  37. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB DDR3 1.6ns (450/1100 MHz)

Archive (videocards, which info is no longer updated)

3. June 2004 news and the current business

  • 3.1. The following drivers were released from May 10, 2004 to June 10, 2004:

    • NVIDIA ForceWare for all NVIDIA cards:

      • Windows XP: 61.34, 61.40;


    • ATI Catalyst for all ATI cards:

      • Windows XP: 6.451 (CATALYST 4.6);


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

  • 3.2. This month we used 61.34 drivers for NVIDIA cards summaries; 6.451 drivers for ATI cards summaries.

  • 3.3. In May we updated Antialiasing section.

4. Summary diagrams of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers for June 2004

We recommend you visit either product support websites if you come across any "peculiarities".

Summary diagrams were charted using results obtained on all testbeds, while quality aspects checks and drivers comparison were conducted on AMD Athlon 64 3200+. I guess no more comments needed, readers will easily understand what is what themselves. :)

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 XP) in RAR 3.0 or ZIP format.

In this issue we calculated prospect and usability ratings based on AMD Athlon 64 3200+ testbed results.

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 $500 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

01. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB, 350/1000 MHz (02)
02. ATI RADEON X800XT 256MB, 525/1150 MHz (01)
03. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB, 325/700 MHz (--)
04. ATI RADEON X800 PRO 256MB, 475/890 MHz (03)
05. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 400/1100 MHz (04)
06. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 450/1100 MHz (05)
07. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz (06)
08. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz (07)
09. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB, 380/680 MHz (08)
10. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz (09)
11. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz (10)
12. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz (11)
13. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz (12)
14. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz (13)
15. ATI RADEON 9550XT 128MB 400/500 MHz (--)
16. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz (14)
17. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz (16)
18. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz (17)
19. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz (15)
20. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz (18)
21. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz (19)
22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB 475/950 MHz DDR3 (21)
23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz (22)
24. ATI RADEON 9550 256MB 250/400 MHz (20)
25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz (23)
26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz (25)
27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz (24)
28. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz (26)
29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz (27)
30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE 128MB, 250/400 MHz (31)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 128MB 270/400 MHz (29)
32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (28)
33. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz (30)
34. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz (32)
35. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz (33)
36. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (34)
37. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz (35)


Usability rating: card price + $250

01. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz (04)
02. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB, 325/700 MHz (--)
03. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB, 350/1000 MHz (01)
04. ATI RADEON X800XT 256MB, 525/1150 MHz (02)
05. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz (06)
06. ATI RADEON X800 PRO 256MB, 475/890 MHz (03)
07. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 400/1100 MHz (05)
08. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 450/1100 MHz (07)
09. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB, 380/680 MHz (08)
10. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz (11)
11. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz (09)
12. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz (10)
13. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz (12)
14. ATI RADEON 9550XT 128MB 400/500 MHz (--)
15. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz (14)
16. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz (13)
17. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz (15)
18. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz (17)
19. ATI RADEON 9550 256MB 250/400 MHz (16)
20. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz (18)
21. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz (19)
22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz (23)
23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz (20)
24. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz (22)
25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB 475/950 MHz DDR3 (21)
26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz (24)
27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE 128MB, 250/400 MHz (33)
28. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz (25)
29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz (26)
30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz (27)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (28)
32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 128MB 270/400 MHz (29)
33. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz (30)
34. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz (31)
35. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz (32)
36. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (34)
37. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz (35)


Usability rating: card price + $100

01. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz (01)
02. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz (06)
03. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz (02)
04. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz (09)
05. ATI RADEON 9550XT 128MB 400/500 MHz (--)
06. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz (08)
07. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz (04)
08. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB, 325/700 MHz (--)
09. ATI RADEON 9550 256MB 250/400 MHz (03)
10. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB, 350/1000 MHz (05)
11. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz (11)
12. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz (12)
13. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz (13)
14. ATI RADEON X800 PRO 256MB, 475/890 MHz (07)
15. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB, 380/680 MHz (16)
16. ATI RADEON X800XT 256MB, 525/1150 MHz (10)
17. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz (22)
18. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 400/1100 MHz (14)
19. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz (17)
20. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz (20)
21. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz (18)
22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz (19)
23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE 128MB, 250/400 MHz (30)
24. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 450/1100 MHz (15)
25. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz (24)
26. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (21)
27. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB 475/950 MHz DDR3 (23)
28. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 128MB 270/400 MHz (25)
29. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz (26)
30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz (27)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz (28)
32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz (29)
33. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (34)
34. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz (32)
35. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz (33)
36. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz (31)
37. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz (35)

Prospect rating (previous rating is in parenthesis):

01. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 450/1100 MHz (01)
02. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB, 400/1100 MHz (03)
03. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB, 350/1000 MHz (04)
04. ATI RADEON X800XT 256MB, 525/1150 MHz (02)
05. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB, 325/700 MHz (--)
06. ATI RADEON X800 PRO 256MB, 475/890 MHz (05)
07. ATI RADEON 9800XT 256MB, 412/730 MHz (06)
08. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB, 380/680 MHz (07)
09. ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB, 380/680 MHz (08)
10. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra GT 256MB, 520/950 MHz (09)
11. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB, 475/950 MHz (10)
12. ATI RADEON 9800 128MB, 325/590 MHz (11)
13. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra 256MB, 450/850 MHz (12)
14. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 128MB, 400/850 MHz (13)
15. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128MB, 390/700 MHz (14)
16. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB, 475/900 MHz (15)
17. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB 475/950 MHz DDR3 (16)
18. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 525/650 MHz (17)
19. ATI RADEON 9600XT 128MB, 500/600 MHz (18)
20. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 256bit, 380/680 MHz (19)
21. ATI RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 MHz (20)
22. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128MB, 425/550 MHz (21)
23. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, 325/550 MHz (22)
24. ATI RADEON 9550XT 128MB 400/500 MHz (--)
25. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE 128MB, 250/400 MHz (32)
26. ATI RADEON 9800 SE 128MB 128bit, 325/540 MHz (23)
27. ATI RADEON 9600 256MB, 325/400 MHz (24)
28. ATI RADEON 9600 128MB, 325/400 MHz (25)
29. ATI RADEON 9550 256MB 250/400 MHz (26)
30. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 128bit, 235/400 MHz (27)
31. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 128MB 270/400 MHz (28)
32. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (29)
33. ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB 64bit, 325/400 MHz (30)
34. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB 64bit, 235/400 MHz (31)
35. NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128MB, 64bit, 250/333 MHz (33)
36. ATI RADEON 9200 128MB, 250/400 MHz (34)
37. ATI RADEON 9200SE 128MB 64bit, 200/333 MHz (35)


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 FarCry (Direct 3D), (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


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


HIS (Peter Yueng personally)






Vitaly Milov (black_nqr@yahoo.com)
Danil Gridasov (degust@ixbt.com)








and Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)









12.06.2004


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