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3Digest, June 2007

July 16, 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 May 2007 to the 15th of June 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 85th issue of 3Digest.

June 2007

This time we added benchmark results of RADEON HD 2400 XT, 2600 PRO, 2600 XT.

This issue marks another anniversary of 3Digest. Exactly 7 years ago we published the first 3Digest.

This year we won't be doing anything special, because we are going to wait until a good round figure and then celebrate it in full :)

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;
    • 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 features Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c, Dell 3007WFP monitor Dell 3007WFP (30").

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.

Cards list:

  1. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 256MB DDR 2.8ns (450/550 MHz)
  2. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 PRO 256MB DDR 2.5ns (600/800 MHz)
  3. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1300 XT 256MB DDR2 2.0ns (500/900 MHz)
  4. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1650 PRO 256MB DDR 1.4ns (590/1380 MHz)
  5. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1650 XT 256MB DDR 1.4ns (600/1400 MHz)
  6. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1650 XT 256MB DDR 1.2ns (625/1530 MHz)
  7. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 PRO 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (580/1400 MHz)
  8. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 PRO 512MB GDDR3 1.4ns (573/1360 MHz)
  9. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1900 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (625/1450 MHz)
  10. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 XTX 512MB GDDR4 0.9ns (650/2000 MHz)
  11. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 XT 512MB GDDR4 0.9ns (625/1800 MHz)
  12. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2400 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (700/1600 MHz)
  13. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2600 PRO 256MB GDDR2 2.5ns (600/800 MHz)
  14. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2600 PRO 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (700/1400 MHz)
  15. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 0.9ns (800/2200 MHz)
  16. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2900 XT 512MB GDDR3 1.0ns (743/1660 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 8500 GT 256MB GDDR2 2.5ns (450/800 MHz)
  21. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (600/1200 MHz)
  22. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (560/1560 MHz)
  23. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB GDDR3 1.0ns (675/2000 MHz)
  24. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB GDDR3 1.0ns (720/2200 MHz)
  25. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (450/1320 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 (graphics cards, information for which is no longer updated)

3. June 2007 news and the current business

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

  • 3.1. The following drivers were released from May 15, 2007 to June 15, 2007:

    • NVIDIA ForceWare for all NVIDIA cards:


    • ATI Catalyst for all ATI cards:



  • 3.2. In this issue we used 160.02 drivers for NVIDIA summary charts, 7.5 drivers for all ATI X1xxx series and 7.6 drivers for HD 2xxx series.

4. Summary diagrams of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers for June 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-x, HD 2900 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.

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 7.5/7.6, NVIDIA ForceWare 160.02).


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 based testbed:

"Usability" Rating:

GAMING ONLY usability rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Appr. price
01. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
777
690
148
02. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
717
1043
334
03. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
688
787
204
04. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
687
730
180
05. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
658
588
134
06. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
640
870
257
07. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
618
503
100
08. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
603
428
80
09. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
595
1146
463
10. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
586
549
134
11. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
581
527
125
12. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
573
1089
452
13. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
546
712
220
14. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
543
1363
680
15. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
531
582
150
16. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
521
1293
653
17. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
504
359
70
18. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
501
408
80
19. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
492
699
235
20. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
481
433
96
21. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
479
1375
783
22. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
457
880
371
23. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
450
625
200
24. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
429
485
130
25. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
410
299
60
26. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
338
398
117
27. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
333
1570
1306
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
314
325
85
29. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
311
466
169
30. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
288
532
232
31. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
269
363
124
32. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
262
522
249
33. X1300 256MB, 450/550
261
243
65
34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
170
634
519
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
101
724
1038


GENERAL usability rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Appr. price
01. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
1874
1080
148
02. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
1804
1664
334
03. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
1662
1148
180
04. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1645
1225
204
05. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
1634
935
134
06. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
1582
813
100
07. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
1535
1861
463
08. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1533
1362
257
09. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1485
675
80
10. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1433
1742
452
11. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
1422
965
150
12. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1413
860
134
13. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1392
820
125
14. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
1360
2178
680
15. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
1326
670
80
16. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1304
2061
653
17. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
1290
1105
220
18. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1229
563
70
19. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
1228
700
96
20. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
1190
2184
783
21. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
1172
1022
200
22. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
1172
1089
235
23. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
1137
800
130
24. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1091
1370
371
25. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
991
465
60
26. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
861
2543
1306
27. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
750
596
117
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
693
487
85
29. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
684
695
169
30. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
637
797
232
31. X1300 256MB, 450/550
626
379
65
32. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
600
546
124
33. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
580
783
249
34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
390
966
519
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
243
1135
1038

"Prospect" Rating:

GAMING ONLY prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Appr. price
01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
333
1570
1306
02. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
479
1375
783
03. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
543
1363
680
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
521
1293
653
05. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
595
1146
463
06. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
573
1089
452
07. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
717
1043
334
08. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
457
880
371
09. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
640
870
257
10. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
688
787
204
11. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
687
730
180
12. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
101
724
1038
13. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
546
712
220
14. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
492
699
235
15. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
777
690
148
16. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
170
634
519
17. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
450
625
200
18. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
658
588
134
19. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
531
582
150
20. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
586
549
134
21. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
288
532
232
22. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
581
527
125
23. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
262
522
249
24. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
618
503
100
25. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
429
485
130
26. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
311
466
169
27. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
481
433
96
28. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
603
428
80
29. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
501
408
80
30. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
338
398
117
31. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
269
363
124
32. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
504
359
70
33. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
314
325
85
34. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
410
299
60
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
261
243
65


GENERAL prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Appr. price
01. 8800 GTX SLI 2x768MB, 575/1800
861
2543
1306
02. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
1190
2184
783
03. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
1360
2178
680
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1304
2061
653
05. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
1535
1861
463
06. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1433
1742
452
07. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
1804
1664
334
08. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1091
1370
371
09. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1533
1362
257
10. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1645
1225
204
11. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
1662
1148
180
12. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
243
1135
1038
13. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
1290
1105
220
14. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
1172
1089
235
15. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
1874
1080
148
16. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
1172
1022
200
17. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
390
966
519
18. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
1422
965
150
19. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
1634
935
134
20. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1413
860
134
21. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1392
820
125
22. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
1582
813
100
23. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
1137
800
130
24. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
637
797
232
25. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
580
783
249
26. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
1228
700
96
27. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
684
695
169
28. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1485
675
80
29. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
1326
670
80
30. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
750
596
117
31. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1229
563
70
32. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
600
546
124
33. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
693
487
85
34. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
991
465
60
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
626
379
65



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:
Chaintech Russia and personally Alexander Petrushin,
"Zotac",
"BFG Russia" and personally Mikhail Proshletsov,
"EVGA Russia" and personally Victoria Nikolaeva,
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)
13.06.2007


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