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3Digest: September 2005

September 7, 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 in the past month.

This issue is dedicated to drivers released from the 10th of August to the 10th of September 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 64th issue of 3Digest.

September 2005

Please note: for this issue we tested only PCI-E graphics cards! For AGP product benchmarks please see the July issue!

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. Game Quality Section
  8. Game Quality Control Section



1. Testbed configuration



  • System on Athlon 64 3200+: 64 (754Socket): - WAS NOT used for this issue!
    • 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.

  • System on Athlon 64 (939Socket)
    • 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. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X300 128MB DDR 5ns (325/400 MHz)
  2. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X550 256MB DDR 4ns (400/500 MHz)
  3. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X600 PRO 128MB DDR 3.3ns (400/600 MHz)
  4. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X600 XT 128MB DDR 2.5ns (500/760 MHz)
  5. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 PRO 256MB DDR 2.5ns (600/800 MHz)
  6. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X700 256MB DDR 2.8ns (400/700 MHz)
  7. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X700 PRO 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (425/860 MHz)
  8. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1600 XT 256MB DDR 1.26ns (590/1380 MHz)
  9. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X800 GT 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (475/990 MHz)
  10. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X800 128MB DDR 2.8ns (400/700 MHz)
  11. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X800 GTO 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (400/990 MHz)
  12. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X800 XL 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (400/990 MHz)
  13. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X800 XL 512MB GDDR3 2.0ns (400/990 MHz)
  14. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X850 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (520/1080 MHz)
  15. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X850 XT PE 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (540/1180 MHz)
  16. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X850 XT CrossFire 2x256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (2x520/1080 MHz)
  17. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1800 XT 512MB GDDR3 1.26ns (625/1500 MHz)
  18. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1800 XL 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (500/1000 MHz)
  19. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6600LE 128MB DDR 3.6ns (300/550 MHz)
  20. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6600 128MB DDR 3.6ns (300/550 MHz)
  21. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 2.0ns (500/1000 MHz)
  22. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128MB DDR 2.8ns (350/700 MHz)
  23. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 256MB DDR 2.8ns (350/600 MHz)
  24. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (350/1000 MHz)
  25. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (425/1100 MHz)
  26. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI 2x256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (2x425/1100 MHz)
  27. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT SLI 2x256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (2x350/1000 MHz)
  28. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 SLI 2x256MB DDR 2.8ns (2x350/600 MHz)
  29. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT SLI 2x128MB GDDR3 2.0ns (2x500/1000 MHz)
  30. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6600 SLI 2x128MB DDR 3.6ns (2x300/550 MHz)
  31. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (400/1000 MHz)
  32. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (450/1100 MHz)
  33. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (430/1200 MHz)
  34. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (459/1300 MHz)
  35. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (486/1350 MHz)
  36. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX SLI 2x256MB DDR3 1.6ns (2x430/1200 MHz)

Archive (video cards, information on which is not updated anymore)

3. September 2005 news and the current business

Added a number of new graphics cards (marked "NEW").

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

    • NVIDIA ForceWare for all NVIDIA-based cards:

      • Windows XP: 78.02, 81.82, 81.84;


    • ATI Catalyst for all ATI-based cards:

      • Windows XP: 6.571 (CATALYST 5.9)



  • 3.2. This month we used 81.84 drivers for NVIDIA-based card summaries; 6.571 drivers for ATI-based card summaries.

4. Summary diagrams of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers for September 2003.

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 - 60%
    • quality priority - 40%

  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 4000+ (PCI-E):

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

    Usability rating

    01. GeForce 7800GT 256MB, 450/1100 (03)
    02. GeForce 7800GT 256MB, 400/1000 (05)
    03. GeForce 6600GT 128MB 500/1000 PCI-E (01)
    04. RADEON X1600 XT 256MB 590/1380 (--)
    05. GeForce 7800GTX 256MB, 430/1200 (04)
    06. RADEON X800GTO 256MB 400/990 PCI-E (09)
    07. RADEON X1800 XT 512MB 625/1500 (--)
    08. RADEON X1800 XL 256MB 500/1000 (--)
    09. GeForce 6600 128MB 300/550 PCI-E (02)
    10. GeForce 7800GTX 256MB, 459/1300 (--)
    11. RADEON X700 PRO 256MB 425/860 PCI-E (17)
    12. GeForce 6800 256MB 350/600 PCI-E (10)
    13. RADEON X800 GT 256MB 475/990 PCI-E (13)
    14. RADEON X700 256MB 400/700 PCI-E (06)
    15. GeForce 6800 128MB 350/700 PCI-E (08)
    16. RADEON X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800 (--)
    17. GeForce 7800GTX 256MB, 486/1350 (11)
    18. GeForce 6800 GT 256MB 350/1000 PCI-E (07)
    19. RADEON X800 XL 256MB 400/990 PCI-E (14)
    20. GeForce 6600GT SLI 2x128MB, 500/1000 (12)
    21. GeForce 6800 SLI 2x256MB 350/600 (19)
    22. RADEON X800 128MB 400/700 PCI-E (16)
    23. GeForce 7800GTX SLI 2x256MB, 430/1200 (21)
    24. GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB 425/1100 PCI-E (20)
    25. GeForce 6600LE 128MB 300/550 PCI-E (15)
    26. GeForce 6600 SLI 2x128MB 300/550 (18)
    27. RADEON X850 XT 256MB 520/1080 PCI-E (23)
    28. RADEON X850 XT PE 256MB 540/1180 PCI-E (24)
    29. GeForce 6800 GT SLI 2x256MB 350/1000 (22)
    30. RADEON X800 XL 512MB 400/990 PCI-E (25)
    31. GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI 2x256MB 425/1100 (27)
    32. RADEON X600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 (28)
    33. RADEON X550 256MB, 400/500 (29)
    34. RADEON X600 XT 128MB, 500/760 (26)
    35. RADEON X300 128MB, 325/400 (30)
    36. RADEON X850 XT CF 2x256MB 520/1080 (--)

    Prospect rating (the previous rating is in parenthesis):

    01. GeForce 7800GTX SLI 2x256MB, 430/1200 (01)
    02. GeForce 7800GTX 256MB, 486/1350 (02)
    03. RADEON X1800 XT 512MB 625/1500 (--)
    04. GeForce 7800GTX 256MB, 459/1300 (--)
    05. GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI 2x256MB 425/1100 (03)
    06. GeForce 7800GTX 256MB, 430/1200 (04)
    07. GeForce 7800GT 256MB, 450/1100 (05)
    08. GeForce 6800 GT SLI 2x256MB 350/1000 (06)
    09. GeForce 7800GT 256MB, 400/1000 (07)
    10. RADEON X1800 XL 256MB 500/1000 (--)
    11. RADEON X850 XT CF 2x256MB 520/1080 (--)
    12. GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB 425/1100 PCI-E (08)
    13. GeForce 6800 SLI 2x256MB 350/600 (09)
    14. GeForce 6800 GT 256MB 350/1000 PCI-E (10)
    15. RADEON X850 XT PE 256MB 540/1180 PCI-E (11)
    16. RADEON X850 XT 256MB 520/1080 PCI-E (12)
    17. RADEON X1600 XT 256MB 590/1380 (--)
    18. RADEON X800 XL 512MB 400/990 PCI-E (13)
    19. RADEON X800 XL 256MB 400/990 PCI-E (14)
    20. GeForce 6600GT SLI 2x128MB, 500/1000 (15)
    21. GeForce 6800 256MB 350/600 PCI-E (16)
    22. RADEON X800GTO 256MB 400/990 PCI-E (17)
    23. GeForce 6800 128MB 350/700 PCI-E (18)
    24. RADEON X800 GT 256MB 475/990 PCI-E (19)
    25. GeForce 6600GT 128MB 500/1000 PCI-E (20)
    26. RADEON X800 128MB 400/700 PCI-E (21)
    27. RADEON X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800 (--)
    28. RADEON X700 PRO 256MB 425/860 PCI-E (22)
    29. GeForce 6600 SLI 2x128MB 300/550 (23)
    30. RADEON X700 256MB 400/700 PCI-E (24)
    31. GeForce 6600 128MB 300/550 PCI-E (25)
    32. GeForce 6600LE 128MB 300/550 PCI-E (26)
    33. RADEON X600 XT 128MB, 500/760 (27)
    34. RADEON X600 PRO 128MB, 400/600 (28)
    35. RADEON X550 256MB, 400/500 (29)
    36. RADEON X300 128MB, 325/400 (30)



Ingame quality



6. Games screenshot gallery

All test screenshots are compiled into a gallery where you can qualify the work of a chosen videocard. All shots were taken at the same 1024x768 resolution at the maximum quality. Screenshot gallery

7. Game Artefacts Gallery

Game Quality Section

8. Game Quality Control Section

Game Quality Control Section



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







HIS (and personally Peter Yueng)







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)






24.10.2005


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