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3Digest: October/November 2006

December 22, 2006



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 15th of October 2006 to the 15th of November 2006. 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 77/78th issue of 3Digest.

October-November 2006

Added benchmarking results for GeForce 8800 GTX, 8800 GTS, RADEON X1650 XT and overclocked X1950 PRO.

Upgraded the testbed.

PLEASE NOTE! This issue contains only PCI-E cards benchmarks! The final AGP benchmarks were made in March 2006 (see this page)!

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



  • Intel Core2 Duo (775 Socket) based computer
    • Intel Core2 Duo Extreme X6800 (2930 MHz) (L2=4096K) CPU;
    • EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard on NVIDIA nForce 680i;
    • 2GB DDR2 SDRAM Corsair 1142MHz (CAS (tCL)=5; RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)=5; Row Precharge (tRP)=5; tRAS=15);
    • WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA HDD.

The testbed has Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c installed. Dell 3007WFP (30") monitor was 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 produced by tested cards in our monthly updated Screenshot gallery.

Card list:

  1. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 256MB DDR 2.8ns (450/550 MHz)
  2. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 512MB DDR2 3.0ns (450/500 MHz)
  3. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 PRO 256MB DDR 2.5ns (600/800 MHz)
  4. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 XT 256MB DDR2 2.0ns (500/900 MHz)
  5. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1650 PRO 256MB DDR 1.4ns (590/1380 MHz)
  6. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1650 XT 256MB DDR 1.4ns (600/1400 MHz)
  7. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1650 XT 256MB DDR 1.2ns (625/1530 MHz)
  8. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1800 GTO 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (500/1000 MHz)
  9. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 PRO 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (585/1400 MHz)
  10. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 PRO 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (635/1480 MHz)
  11. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1900 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (625/1450 MHz)
  12. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1900 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (575/1200 MHz)
  13. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1900 XT 512MB GDDR3 1.2ns (625/1450 MHz)
  14. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1900 XTX 512MB GDDR3 1.1ns (650/1550 MHz)
  15. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 XTX 512MB GDDR4 0.9ns (650/2000 MHz)
  16. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6600 256MB DDR2 2.5ns (350/800 MHz)
  17. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT 256MB GDDR2 2.8ns (350/666 MHz)
  18. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (500/1400 MHz)
  19. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (560/1400 MHz)
  20. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 256MB GDDR3 2.5ns (400/800 MHz)
  21. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 512MB GDDR2 2.0ns (550/950 MHz)
  22. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 XT 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (425/1000 MHz)
  23. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GS 256MB GDDR3 2.0ns (425/1000 MHz)
  24. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (430/1200 MHz)
  25. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (450/1320 MHz)
  26. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (450/1320 MHz)
  27. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (480/1400 MHz)
  28. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (540/1500 MHz)
  29. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT 512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (550/1400 MHz)
  30. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB GDDR3 1.1ns (650/1600 MHz)
  31. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 2x512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (500/1200 MHz)
  32. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (4x500/1200 MHz)
  33. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB GDDR3 1.2ns (512/1600 MHz)
  34. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3 1.1ns (575/1800 MHz)
  35. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB GDDR3 1.1ns (2x575/1800 MHz)

Archive (videocards, which info is no longer updated)

3. October/November 2006 news and the current business

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

Added a number of benchmarks using HDR. Also, replaced 2048x1536 resolution with 2560x1600 in several tests. Resolution in F.E.A.R. remains the same, since the game doesn't support any higher-res modes.

  • 3.1. The following drivers were released from October 15, 2006 to November 15, 2006:



  • 3.2. This month we used 96.94 drivers for NVIDIA-based card summaries; 6.11 drivers for ATI-based card summaries.

4. Summary diagrams of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers for October/November 2006

All willing to see the complete results in Excel 2003 format can download this RAR 3.0 or this ZIP archive.

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

Calculations were based on gaming benchmark results as well as the results from 3DMark06 new tests (ATI CATALYST 6.11, NVIDIA ForceWare 96.94).


All willing to conduct their own rating calculations with 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 the HIGHEST resolution available in games was used to calculate prospect ratings.
  3. The usability rating indicates performance and features of a card (numerator) related to its price (denominator).

According to your wishes, we separated ratings into two groups: the first gathers all benchmarks, and the second contains only the gaming tests without m3DMark05/06. Disbelieving the synthetic tests, many think the second group is of higher importance.

Core2 Duo X6800 platform:

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

  • GAMING ONLY usability rating

    # Card Name Usability Rating Prospect Rating Price Old #
    01. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
    2768
    787
    235
    (07)
    02. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
    2520
    806
    270
    (--)
    03. X1900 GT 256MB 575/1200
    2513
    757
    240
    (12)
    04. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
    2479
    499
    115
    (20)
    05. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
    2435
    416
    85
    (17)
    06. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
    2416
    1470
    780
    (--)
    07. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
    2377
    883
    328
    (27)
    08. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
    2275
    1251
    645
    (--)
    09. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
    2047
    639
    224
    (16)
    10. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
    1945
    920
    429
    (19)
    11. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
    1881
    603
    218
    (15)
    12. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
    1852
    629
    240
    (--)
    13. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
    1832
    950
    480
    (23)
    14. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
    1779
    346
    84
    (22)
    15. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
    1713
    984
    540
    (28)
    16. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
    1627
    1809
    1560
    (--)
    17. X1300 256MB, 450/550
    1410
    277
    70
    (25)
    18. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
    1408
    367
    106
    (01)
    19. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
    1228
    341
    102
    (03)
    20. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
    1217
    524
    228
    (04)
    21. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
    1216
    545
    245
    (08)
    22. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
    1198
    504
    216
    (02)
    23. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
    1197
    426
    161
    (06)
    24. 6800 GS 256MB 425/1000
    1135
    369
    134
    (13)
    25. X1300 512MB, 450/500
    1130
    297
    98
    (29)
    26. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
    1061
    379
    146
    (10)
    27. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
    1033
    271
    85
    (05)
    28. 6800 XT 256MB 425/1000
    1021
    330
    120
    (11)
    29. 6600 DDR2 256MB 350/800
    926
    264
    86
    (09)
    30. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
    899
    569
    355
    (18)
    31. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
    883
    525
    315
    (14)
    32. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
    858
    606
    417
    (21)
    33. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
    749
    519
    361
    (24)
    34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
    686
    700
    645
    (26)
    35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
    458
    859
    1290
    (30)


  • GENERAL usability rating

    # Card Name Usability Rating Prospect Rating Price Old #
    01. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
    3273
    1174
    235
    01.
    02. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
    3119
    2295
    780
    (--)
    03. X1900 GT 256MB 575/1200
    3000
    1135
    240
    03.
    04. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
    2999
    749
    115
    07.
    05. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
    2990
    1204
    270
    (--)
    06. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
    2906
    621
    85
    06.
    07. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
    2889
    1927
    645
    (--)
    08. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
    2781
    1314
    328
    27.
    09. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
    2285
    923
    224
    09.
    10. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
    2284
    1372
    429
    02.
    11. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
    2203
    889
    218
    04.
    12. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
    2199
    940
    240
    (--)
    13. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
    2161
    2882
    1560
    (--)
    14. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
    2154
    1416
    480
    05.
    15. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
    2054
    507
    84
    10.
    16. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
    2011
    1464
    540
    14.
    17. X1300 256MB, 450/550
    1632
    412
    70
    19.
    18. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
    1562
    528
    106
    08.
    19. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
    1406
    501
    102
    12.
    20. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
    1367
    787
    245
    17.
    21. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
    1366
    623
    161
    15.
    22. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
    1362
    756
    228
    18.
    23. X1300 512MB, 450/500
    1355
    449
    98
    24.
    24. 6800 GS 256MB 425/1000
    1354
    548
    134
    23.
    25. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
    1341
    729
    216
    13.
    26. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
    1245
    564
    146
    16.
    27. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
    1191
    402
    85
    11.
    28. 6800 XT 256MB 425/1000
    1188
    477
    120
    20.
    29. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
    1024
    828
    355
    26.
    30. 6600 DDR2 256MB 350/800
    1013
    358
    86
    25.
    31. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
    990
    760
    315
    21.
    32. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
    986
    885
    417
    22.
    33. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
    845
    754
    361
    29.
    34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
    828
    1046
    645
    28.
    35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
    581
    1313
    1290
    30.

    Prospect rating (the previous rating is in parenthesis):

  • GAMING ONLY prospect rating

    # Card Name Usability Rating Prospect Rating Price Old #
    01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
    1627
    1809
    1560
    (--)
    02. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
    2416
    1470
    780
    (--)
    03. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
    2275
    1251
    645
    (--)
    04. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
    1713
    984
    540
    (03)
    05. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
    1832
    950
    480
    (04)
    06. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
    1945
    920
    429
    (06)
    07. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
    2377
    883
    328
    (15)
    08. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
    458
    859
    1290
    (01)
    09. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
    2520
    806
    270
    (--)
    10. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
    2768
    787
    235
    (10)
    11. X1900 GT 256MB 575/1200
    2513
    757
    240
    (14)
    12. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
    686
    700
    645
    (02)
    13. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
    2047
    639
    224
    (17)
    14. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
    1852
    629
    240
    (--)
    15. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
    858
    606
    417
    (05)
    16. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
    1881
    603
    218
    (18)
    17. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
    899
    569
    355
    (07)
    18. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
    1216
    545
    245
    (08)
    19. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
    883
    525
    315
    (09)
    20. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
    1217
    524
    228
    (11)
    21. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
    749
    519
    361
    (12)
    22. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
    1198
    504
    216
    (13)
    23. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
    2479
    499
    115
    (24)
    24. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
    1197
    426
    161
    (16)
    25. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
    2435
    416
    85
    (26)
    26. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
    1061
    379
    146
    (20)
    27. 6800 GS 256MB 425/1000
    1135
    369
    134
    (19)
    28. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
    1408
    367
    106
    (21)
    29. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
    1779
    346
    84
    (28)
    30. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
    1228
    341
    102
    (22)
    31. 6800 XT 256MB 425/1000
    1021
    330
    120
    (23)
    32. X1300 512MB, 450/500
    1130
    297
    98
    (29)
    33. X1300 256MB, 450/550
    1410
    277
    70
    (30)
    34. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
    1033
    271
    85
    (25)
    35. 6600 DDR2 256MB 350/800
    926
    264
    86
    (27)


  • GENERAL prospect rating

    # Card Name Usability Rating Prospect Rating Price Old #
    01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
    2161
    2882
    1560
    (--)
    02. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
    3119
    2295
    780
    (--)
    03. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
    2889
    1927
    645
    (--)
    04. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
    2011
    1464
    540
    (01)
    05. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
    2154
    1416
    480
    (02)
    06. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
    2284
    1372
    429
    (03)
    07. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
    2781
    1314
    328
    (09)
    08. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
    581
    1313
    1290
    (04)
    09. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
    2990
    1204
    270
    (--)
    10. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
    3273
    1174
    235
    (06)
    11. X1900 GT 256MB 575/1200
    3000
    1135
    240
    (08)
    12. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
    828
    1046
    645
    (05)
    13. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
    2199
    940
    240
    (--)
    14. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
    2285
    923
    224
    (12)
    15. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
    2203
    889
    218
    (14)
    16. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
    986
    885
    417
    (07)
    17. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
    1024
    828
    355
    (10)
    18. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
    1367
    787
    245
    (11)
    19. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
    990
    760
    315
    (13)
    20. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
    1362
    756
    228
    (17)
    21. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
    845
    754
    361
    (15)
    22. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
    2999
    749
    115
    (19)
    23. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
    1341
    729
    216
    (16)
    24. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
    1366
    623
    161
    (18)
    25. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
    2906
    621
    85
    (23)
    26. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
    1245
    564
    146
    (20)
    27. 6800 GS 256MB 425/1000
    1354
    548
    134
    (21)
    28. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
    1562
    528
    106
    (22)
    29. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
    2054
    507
    84
    (26)
    30. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
    1406
    501
    102
    (24)
    31. 6800 XT 256MB 425/1000
    1188
    477
    120
    (25)
    32. X1300 512MB, 450/500
    1355
    449
    98
    (28)
    33. X1300 256MB, 450/550
    1632
    412
    70
    (30)
    34. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
    1191
    402
    85
    (27)
    35. 6600 DDR2 256MB 350/800
    1013
    358
    86
    (29)



    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. 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:
    Foxconn Russia,
    MSI Russia,
    Gainward,







    HIS (and personally Peter Yueng)
    NVIDIA Russia,
    ATI Technologies Russia,
    Sapphire Technology Russia,
    ASUStek Russia,
    Gigabyte Russia,
    AOpen Russia,
    Bench'emAll! (and personally Alexander Kondratyuk AKA Render for helping us optimize bechmarking).



    The PSU for the testbed was kindly provided by HIPER




                                   The Dell 3007WFP monitor was kindly provided by NVIDIA









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





    Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)



    18.11.2006

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