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3Digest, July 2005

August 15, 2005




Monthly drivers report and popular 3D
accelerators comparison

Monthy 3Digest is the project of iXBT.com and Digit-Life.com dedicated to informing you about the performance of a large number of graphics cards under Windows XP.

This issue is dedicated to performance of drivers released from the 10th of June 2005 to the 10th of July 2005. Traditionally our 3Digest informs you about the best price/performance ratios available in the market. Another very important part of any issue is cards' 3D graphics quality shown on the example of a wide selection of games.

It's our 62th issue of 3Digest.

July 2005

NOTE! This issue covers test results of AGP cards only! PCI-E products were tested in the previous issue!

MORE 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. Screenshot gallery
  7. Games quality section
  8. Game Quality Control



1. Testbed configuration



  • Testbed on Athlon 64 (754Socket):
    • AMD Athlon 64 3700+ (L2=1024K);
    • ASUS K8V SE Deluxe motherboard on VIA K8T800;
    • 1 GB DDR SDRAM 400MHz (CAS (tCL)=2.5; RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)=3; Row Precharge (tRP)=3; tRAS=6);
    • Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80GB SATA HDD.

  • Testbed on Athlon 64 (939Socket) WASN'T used in making of this issue!
    • AMD Athlon 4000+ (L2=1024K);
    • ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe motherboard on NVIDIA nForce4 SLI;
    • 1 GB DDR SDRAM 400MHz (CAS (tCL)=2.5; RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)=3; Row Precharge (tRP)=3; tRAS=6);
    • WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA HDD.

Testbeds have Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c installed. ViewSonic P810 (21") and IIYAMA Vision Master Pro 514 (22") monitors were used.

The list of benchmarks is here.

2. Graphics card list

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

You can see the quality of 3D graphics produced by tested cards in our monthly updated Screenshot gallery.

Card list:

  1. AGP-ATI RADEON 9600 Pro 128MB DDR 2.8ns (400/600 MHz)
  2. AGP-ATI RADEON 9600 128MB DDR 5ns (325/400 MHz)
  3. AGP-ATI RADEON 9600 XT 128MB DDR 3.3ns (500/600 MHz)
  4. AGP-ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB DDR 3.3ns 128bit (380/600 MHz)
  5. AGP-ATI RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB DDR 2.8ns (380/680 MHz)
  6. AGP-ATI RADEON X800 Pro 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (475/900 MHz)
  7. AGP-ATI RADEON X800 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (400/700 MHz)
  8. AGP-ATI RADEON X800 XL 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (400/990 MHz)
  9. AGP-ATI RADEON X700 256MB DDR 3.0ns (400/533 MHz)
  10. AGP-ATI RADEON X700 PRO 128MB GDDR3 2.0ns (425/900 MHz)
  11. AGP-ATI RADEON X850 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (520/1080 MHz)
  12. AGP-ATI RADEON X850 XT PE 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (540/1180 MHz)
  13. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6200A 128MB 64bit DDR 4.0ns (300/500 MHz)
  14. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6200 128MB DDR 4.0ns (300/500 MHz)
  15. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6600 128MB DDR 4.0ns (300/500 MHz)
  16. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 2.0ns (500/900 MHz)
  17. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6800LE 128MB DDR 2.8ns (325/700 MHz)
  18. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB DDR 2.8ns (325/700 MHz)
  19. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (350/1000 MHz)
  20. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 128MB DDR 2.8ns (350/700 MHz)
  21. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (350/1000 MHz)
  22. AGP-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (425/1100 MHz)

Archive (videocards, which info is no longer updated)

3. July 2005 news and the current business

We introduced a new benchmark based on F.E.A.R. See the corresponding section for more details.

  • 3.1. The following drivers were released from June 10, 2005 to June 10, 2005:

    • NVIDIA ForceWare for all NVIDIA-based cards:

      • Windows XP: 77.72;


    • ATI Catalyst for all ATI-based cards:

      • Windows XP: 6.553 (CATALYST 5.7)



  • 3.2. This month we used 77.62 drivers for NVIDIA-based card summaries; 6.542 drivers for ATI-based card summaries.

4. Summary diagrams of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers for July 2005

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


All willing to conduct his own rating calculations with his own values are invited to download this Excel XP table in RAR 3.0 or ZIP format.

The method of rating calculation is described here.

Calculations were conducted considering the following assumptions:

  1. Percentage of performance and quality demand ratio:
    • performance priority - 70%
    • quality priority - 30%

  2. ONLY 1600x1200@32bpp resolution was used for the prospect rating;
  3. The usability rating indicates performance and features of a card (numerator) related to its price (denominator).

  1. Athlon 64 3700+ (AGP) platform:

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

    Usability rating

    01. GeForce 6600GT 128MB 500/900 AGP (01)
    02. GeForce 6600 128MB 300/500 AGP (13)
    03. GeForce 6800 GT 256MB 350/1000 AGP (02)
    04. GeForce 6800 GT 128MB 350/700 AGP (08)
    05. RADEON X800 XL 256MB 400/990 AGP (03)
    06. GeForce 6800 128MB 325/700 AGP (07)
    07. GeForce 6800LE 128MB 325/700 AGP (11)
    08. RADEON 9800 128MB 128bit 380/600 (15)
    09. RADEON X800 Pro 256MB 475/900 (10)
    10. RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB 380/680 (14)
    11. RADEON X700 256MB 400/533 AGP (--)
    12. RADEON X800 256MB 400/700 AGP (12)
    13. RADEON 9600 Pro 128MB 400/600 (16)
    14. RADEON X850 XT 256MB 520/1080 AGP (04)
    15. RADEON 9600 XT 128MB 500/600 (17)
    16. RADEON X700 PRO 128MB 425/900 AGP (--)
    17. GeForce 6800 256MB 350/1000 AGP (09)
    18. GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB 425/1100 AGP (05)
    19. RADEON X850 XT PE 256MB 540/1180 AGP (06)
    20. RADEON 9600 128MB 325/400 (18)
    21. GeForce 6200 128MB 300/500 AGP (19)
    22. GeForce 6200A 128MB 64bit 300/500 AGP (20)

    Prospect rating (the previous rating is in parenthesis):

    01. RADEON X850 XT PE 256MB 540/1180 AGP (01)
    02. GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB 425/1100 AGP (03)
    03. RADEON X850 XT 256MB 520/1080 AGP (02)
    04. GeForce 6800 GT 256MB 350/1000 AGP (04)
    05. RADEON X800 XL 256MB 400/990 AGP (05)
    06. GeForce 6800 256MB 350/1000 AGP (07)
    07. RADEON X800 Pro 256MB 475/900 (06)
    08. RADEON X800 256MB 400/700 AGP (08)
    09. GeForce 6800 GT 128MB 350/700 AGP (09)
    10. GeForce 6800 128MB 325/700 AGP (10)
    11. GeForce 6600GT 128MB 500/900 AGP (11)
    12. GeForce 6800LE 128MB 325/700 AGP (12)
    13. RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB 380/680 (13)
    14. RADEON X700 256MB 400/533 AGP (--)
    15. RADEON X700 PRO 128MB 425/900 AGP (--)
    16. GeForce 6600 128MB 300/500 AGP (14)
    17. RADEON 9800 128MB 128bit 380/600 (15)
    18. RADEON 9600 XT 128MB 500/600 (16)
    19. RADEON 9600 Pro 128MB 400/600 (17)
    20. GeForce 6200 128MB 300/500 AGP (18)
    21. RADEON 9600 128MB 325/400 (19)
    22. GeForce 6200A 128MB 64bit 300/500 AGP (20)



Ingame quality



6. 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

7. Games artefacts gallery

Games quality section

8. Game Quality Control!

Game Quality Control



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


HIS (Peter Yueng personally)


Bench'emAll! and personally Alexander Kondratyuk AKA Render for helping us optimize bechmarking.

Vitaly Milov (vmilov@ixbt.com)
Danil Gridasov (degust@ixbt.com)








Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)





15.08.2005


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