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3Digest: April 2007

May 17, 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 drivers released from the 15th of March 2007 to the 15th of April 2007. Traditionally our 3Digest informs you about the best price/performance ratios available in the market. Another very important part of any 3Digest is cards' 3D graphics quality shown on the example of a wide selection of games.

It's our 83th issue of 3Digest.

April 2007

We have added test results for GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB, GeForce 8600 GTS, GeForce 8800 Ultra, and overclocked GeForce 8800 GTX.

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 graphics cards
  3. What's new in 3Digest
  4. Test summary diagrams and digest bottom line
  5. D accelerator rating calculations for the end of the month
  6. Screenshot gallery
  7. Games 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;
    • 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.

All testbeds have Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c installed. Dell 3007WFP monitor was used. (30").

The list of benchmarks is here

2. Videocard 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.

Cards 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 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (560/1400 MHz)
  18. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 256MB GDDR2 2.5ns (400/800 MHz)
  19. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 512MB GDDR2 2.0ns (550/950 MHz)
  20. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (450/1100 MHz)
  21. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB GDDR3 1.0ns (675/2000 MHz)
  22. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB GDDR3 1.0ns (720/2200 MHz)
  23. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (450/1320 MHz)
  24. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (480/1400 MHz)
  25. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (540/1500 MHz)
  26. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT 512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (550/1400 MHz)
  27. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (600/1430 MHz)
  28. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 2x512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (500/1200 MHz)
  29. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (4x500/1200 MHz)
  30. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB GDDR3 1.2ns (512/1600 MHz)
  31. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB GDDR3 1.2ns (512/1600 MHz)
  32. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3 1.1ns (575/1800 MHz)
  33. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3 1.1ns (625/2000 MHz)
  34. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB GDDR3 0.8ns (612/2160 MHz)
  35. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB GDDR3 1.1ns (2x575/1800 MHz)

Archive (videocards, information on which is no longer updated)

3. April 2007 news and matters

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

4. Summary charts of graphics card performance with the latest drivers available at the moment of testing in April 2007

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

If you are familiar with 3D graphics, you will be able to draw all the conclusions yourself after looking at the charts provided. Those interested in our judgement of test results should see reviews dedicated to specific GPUs (see our 3D graphics section). And for newbies and those who has just started choosing a graphics card we'll provide some more detailed explanations.

First of all, you should take a look at our brief references of modern graphics card series and their respective GPUs. Note clock rates, shader support and pipeline architecture.



Reference for ATI RADEON X1300-1600-1800-1900 series

Reference for NVIDIA GeForce 7300-7600-7800-7900-8800 series

Secondly, in our 3D graphics section all newbies can read about the basics of 3D (this knowledge will be required anyway, because you'll surely try to adjust some game settings: textures, lighting, etc.) Besides, newbies should read separate reviews dedicated to new products. There are just two GPU vendors: ATI (recently merged with AMD under its brand) and NVIDIA. Thus, all information is generally separated in two parts.

Thirdly, let's see the charts and make conclusions.

Attention! Due to some technical issues some test results became interchanged. Tests of GeForce 8800 GTS 320 / 640MB at 2560x1600 were conducted separately. And due to a mistake in input of numbers for SOME tests the results of 8800 GTS 320MB became interchanged with those of 8800 GTS 640MB and vice versa. We emphasize, this is ONLY about 2560x1600 and SOME tests. All other results are in their right places. We'll fix these errors next digest. Note that we've already fixed them in test result tables.

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 6.12, NVIDIA ForceWare 96.97).


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.

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. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
728
1057
02. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
694
825
03. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
688
690
04. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
657
851
05. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
631
1086
06. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
626
711
07. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
593
870
08. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
567
428
09. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
567
730
10. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
560
359
11. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
552
1302
12. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
519
1372
13. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
519
527
14. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
516
787
15. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
506
549
16. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
460
710
17. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
448
722
18. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
437
880
19. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
382
547
20. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
378
1383
21. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
367
299
22. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
353
1580
23. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
328
502
24. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
322
366
25. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
319
485
26. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
316
468
27. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
307
400
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
295
327
29. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
286
535
30. X1300 256MB, 450/550
269
243
31. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
267
366
32. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
251
525
33. X1300 512MB, 450/500
243
252
34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
171
638
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
101
728


GENERAL usability rating

# Card Usability Rating Prospect Rating Price
01. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
1873
1719
02. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
1661
1080
03. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
1657
1285
04. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
1569
1325
05. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1520
1700
06. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
1509
1111
07. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1422
1362
08. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1398
675
09. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
1372
1148
10. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1365
563
11. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1334
2042
12. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
1281
2180
13. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1243
820
14. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1234
1225
15. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1222
860
16. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
1096
1108
17. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
1060
1124
18. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1043
1370
19. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
929
2588
20. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
897
842
21. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
887
465
22. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
860
2106
23. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
724
752
24. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
714
547
25. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
702
725
26. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
695
701
27. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
682
601
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
654
491
29. X1300 256MB, 450/550
645
379
30. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
635
804
31. X1300 512MB, 450/500
600
400
32. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
597
551
33. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
556
790
34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
394
974
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
246
1145

"Prospect" Rating:

GAMING ONLY prospect rating

# Card Usability Rating Prospect Rating Price
01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
353
1580
02. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
378
1383
03. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
519
1372
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
552
1302
05. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
631
1086
06. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
728
1057
07. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
437
880
08. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
593
870
09. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
657
851
10. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
694
825
11. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
516
787
12. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
567
730
13. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
101
728
14. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
448
722
15. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
626
711
16. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
460
710
17. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
688
690
18. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
171
638
19. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
506
549
20. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
382
547
21. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
286
535
22. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
519
527
23. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
251
525
24. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
328
502
25. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
319
485
26. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
316
468
27. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
567
428
28. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
307
400
29. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
322
366
30. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
267
366
31. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
560
359
32. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
295
327
33. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
367
299
34. X1300 512MB, 450/500
243
252
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
269
243


GENERAL prospect rating

# Card Usability Rating Prospect Rating Price
01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
929
2588
02. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
1281
2180
03. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
860
2106
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1334
2042
05. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
1873
1719
06. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1520
1700
07. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1043
1370
08. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1422
1362
09. X1900 XTX 512MB, 650/1550
1569
1325
10. X1900 XT 512MB, 625/1450
1657
1285
11. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1234
1225
12. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
1372
1148
13. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
246
1145
14. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
1060
1124
15. X1950 PRO 256MB, 635/1485
1509
1111
16. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
1096
1108
17. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
1661
1080
18. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
394
974
19. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1222
860
20. X1800 GTO 256MB 500/1000
897
842
21. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1243
820
22. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
635
804
23. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
556
790
24. 7900 GS 256MB, 540/1500
724
752
25. 7900 GS 256MB, 480/1400
702
725
26. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
695
701
27. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1398
675
28. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
682
601
29. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1365
563
30. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
597
551
31. 7600 GS 256MB, 450/1100
714
547
32. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
654
491
33. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
887
465
34. X1300 512MB, 450/500
600
400
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
645
379



GAME QUALITY SECTION



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 9500x1024 resolution at the maximum quality. Screenshot gallery

7. Game Artefacts Gallery

Games 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:
"Zotac",
"BFG Russia" and personally Mikhail Proshletsov,
"EVGA Russia" and personally Victoria Nikolaeva,
Foxconn Russia,
MSI Russia,
Gainward,

HIS (Peter Yueng personally)
"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)



16.05.2007


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