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3Digest: February 2007

March 1, 2007



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 January to the 15th of February 2007. 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 81th issue of 3Digest.

This digest is dedicated to dependency of graphics cards on CPU (so this month benchmarks do not feature AA and AF, which will be added again next month).

Attention! This digest contains benchmarking results for PCI-E cards only! The final AGP benchmarking was conducted in March 2006!

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 machine
    • Intel Core2 Duo Extreme X6800 (2930 MHz) (L2=4096K) CPU;
    • Intel Core2 Duo Extreme X6800 CPU (overlocked to 3400 MHz by changing the multiplier to 13), 1066 MHz FSB and memory;
    • Intel Core2 Duo E6400 (2133 MHz) CPU;
    • EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard on NVIDIA nForce 680i;
    • 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM Corsair 1066MHz (CAS (tCL)=5; RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)=5; Row Precharge (tRP)=5; tRAS=15);
    • WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA HDD.

  • AMD Athlon64 X2 4000+ (AM2 Socket) based machine
    • AMD Athlon64 X2 4000+ (2000 MHz) (L2=2048K) CPU;
    • Foxconn motherboard on NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI;
    • 2 GB DDR SDRAM Kingmax 400MHz (CAS (tCL)=3; RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)=3; 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 the 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 (580/1400 MHz)
  10. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 PRO 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (635/1480 MHz)
  11. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 PRO 512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (573/1360 MHz)
  12. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1900 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (625/1450 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-ATI RADEON X1950 XT 512MB GDDR4 0.9ns (625/1800 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 GDDR2 2.5ns (400/800 MHz)
  21. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 512MB GDDR2 2.0ns (550/950 MHz)
  22. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (450/1100 MHz)
  23. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB GDDR3 1.6ns (430/1200 MHz)
  24. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (450/1320 MHz)
  25. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (450/1320 MHz)
  26. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (480/1400 MHz)
  27. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (540/1500 MHz)
  28. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT 512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (550/1400 MHz)
  29. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (600/1430 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)
  36. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS SLI 2x640MB GDDR3 1.2ns (2x512/1600 MHz)

Archive (graphics cards, information for which is no longer updated)

3. February 2007 news and current business

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

  • 3.1. The following drivers were released from January 15, 2007 to February 15, 2007:



  • 3.2. This month we used 97.92 drivers for NVIDIA-based card summaries; 7.1 drivers for ATI-based card summaries.

4. Summary diagrams of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers available at the moment of testing in February 2007.

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

Attention! Since we have only examined CPU dependency of graphics cards and haven't conducted any AA+AF tests, we haven't made any ratings! Therefore we can only pe-publish those from December 3Digest.

Calculations were based on gaming benchmark results as well as the results from 3DMark06 new tests (ATI CATALYST 6.12, NVIDIA ForceWare 96.97).


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:

GAMING ONLY usability rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Price
01. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
2176
677
237
02. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
2150
716
258
03. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
2095
697
260
04. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1898
772
332
05. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1884
420
115
06. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1865
352
85
07. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1863
1252
795
08. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1759
538
200
09. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1743
517
187
10. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1725
1045
649
11. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1658
853
445
12. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
1651
809
415
13. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
1608
547
224
14. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
1537
339
90
15. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
1532
294
72
16. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
1530
834
472
17. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1440
863
528
18. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
1396
359
106
19. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
1251
322
97
20. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
1242
394
145
21. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
1130
1479
1590
22. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
1117
258
76
23. X1300 256MB, 450/550
1104
238
69
24. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
1093
461
219
25. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
1070
359
142
26. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
1032
494
265
27. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
978
477
262
28. X1300 512MB, 450/500
950
248
85
29. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
934
526
325
30. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
867
517
342
31. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
855
479
300
32. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
831
551
402
33. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
723
471
342
34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
687
628
585
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
393
705
1170


GENERAL usability rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Price
01. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
2984
1097
237
02. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
2951
1166
258
03. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
2870
1128
260
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
2716
2101
795
05. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
2684
691
115
06. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
2616
575
85
07. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
2557
1240
332
08. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
2508
1747
649
09. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
2423
876
200
10. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
2367
829
187
11. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
2316
575
90
12. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
2236
1380
445
13. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
2218
1299
415
14. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
2144
613
106
15. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
2117
470
72
16. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
2100
862
224
17. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
2057
1340
472
18. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1933
1384
528
19. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
1913
677
145
20. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
1905
551
97
21. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
1726
2544
1590
22. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
1713
444
76
23. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
1661
788
219
24. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
1658
622
142
25. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
1580
848
265
26. X1300 256MB, 450/550
1501
385
69
27. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
1487
816
262
28. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
1440
908
325
29. X1300 512MB, 450/500
1365
411
85
30. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
1337
892
342
31. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
1304
821
300
32. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
1289
953
402
33. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
1128
1116
585
34. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
1112
812
342
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
710
1319
1170

"Prospect" Rating:

GAMING ONLY prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Price
01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
1130
1479
1590
02. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1863
1252
795
03. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1725
1045
649
04. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1440
863
528
05. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1658
853
445
06. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
1530
834
472
07. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
1651
809
415
08. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1898
772
332
09. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
2150
716
258
10. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
393
705
1170
11. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
2095
697
260
12. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
2176
677
237
13. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
687
628
585
14. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
831
551
402
15. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
1608
547
224
16. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1759
538
200
17. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
934
526
325
18. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1743
517
187
19. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
867
517
342
20. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
1032
494
265
21. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
855
479
300
22. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
978
477
262
23. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
723
471
342
24. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
1093
461
219
25. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1884
420
115
26. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
1242
394
145
27. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
1070
359
142
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
1396
359
106
29. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1865
352
85
30. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
1537
339
90
31. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
1251
322
97
32. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
1532
294
72
33. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
1117
258
76
34. X1300 512MB, 450/500
950
248
85
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
1104
238
69


GENERAL prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Price
01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
1726
2544
1590
02. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
2716
2101
795
03. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
2508
1747
649
04. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1933
1384
528
05. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
2236
1380
445
06. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
2057
1340
472
07. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
710
1319
1170
08. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
2218
1299
415
09. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
2557
1240
332
10. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
2951
1166
258
11. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
2870
1128
260
12. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
1128
1116
585
13. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
2984
1097
237
14. 7900 GTX 512MB, 650/1600
1289
953
402
15. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
1440
908
325
16. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
1337
892
342
17. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
2423
876
200
18. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
2100
862
224
19. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
1580
848
265
20. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
2367
829
187
21. 7900 GT 256MB, 450/1320
1304
821
300
22. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
1487
816
262
23. 7800 GTX 256MB, 430/1200
1112
812
342
24. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
1661
788
219
25. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
2684
691
115
26. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
1913
677
145
27. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
1658
622
142
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
2144
613
106
29. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
2616
575
85
30. 7300 GT 256MB, 500/1400
2316
575
90
31. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
1905
551
97
32. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
2117
470
72
33. 7300 GT 256MB, 350/666
1713
444
76
34. X1300 512MB, 450/500
1365
411
85
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
1501
385
69



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,
AMD Russia,
Sapphire Technology Russia,
ASUStek Russia,



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)



04.03.2007


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