iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

Platform

Video

Multimedia

Mobile

Other

3Digest: July 2007

August 20, 2007



Monthly drivers report and popular 3D
accelerators comparison

Monthly 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 June 2007 to the 15th of July 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 86th issue of 3Digest.

July 2007

We stopped benchmarking games with Far Cry (say good bye to the most beautiful jungle graphics), but added S.T.A.L.K.E.R tests instead.

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. (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 Ultra SLI 2x768MB GDDR3 0.8ns (2x612/2160 MHz)

Archive (graphics cards, information on which is no longer updated)

3. July 2007 news and the current business

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

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

    • NVIDIA ForceWare for all NVIDIA cards:


    • ATI Catalyst for all ATI cards:



  • 3.2. This month we used 162.18 drivers for NVIDIA-based card summaries, 7.7 drivers for ATI-based card summaries.

4. Summary diagrams of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers for July 2007

All willing to see the complete results in Excel 2003 format can download this RAR 3.0 or 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, 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 7.7, NVIDIA ForceWare 162.18).


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
Approx. price
01. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
703
630
134
02. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
636
966
334
03. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
626
618
148
04. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
603
498
100
05. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
567
669
180
06. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
560
1114
463
07. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
558
717
220
08. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
553
703
204
09. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
530
1057
452
10. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
525
786
257
11. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
511
575
150
12. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
504
705
235
13. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
502
1302
680
14. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
492
392
80
15. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
486
505
134
16. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
482
1237
653
17. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
479
483
125
18. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
468
390
80
19. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
464
426
96
20. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
453
631
200
21. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
452
1332
783
22. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
420
484
130
23. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
417
333
70
24. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
378
802
371
25. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
337
277
60
26. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
319
391
117
27. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
293
455
169
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
293
320
85
29. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
275
521
232
30. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
258
361
124
31. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
254
519
249
32. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160
245
1477
1566
33. X1300 256MB, 450/550
213
224
65
34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
170
633
519
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
97
706
1038


GENERAL usability rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Approx. price
01. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
1937
1052
134
02. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
1787
1636
334
03. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
1733
855
100
04. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
1708
1032
148
05. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
1598
1231
220
06. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
1589
1898
463
07. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
1542
1117
180
08. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
1518
1005
150
09. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1494
1168
204
10. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1466
1775
452
11. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
1451
1212
235
12. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1416
1311
257
13. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
1390
2192
680
14. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
1385
680
80
15. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1368
657
80
16. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1334
2075
653
17. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
1332
732
96
18. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1316
839
134
19. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
1293
1080
200
20. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1289
797
125
21. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
1236
2221
783
22. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
1229
839
130
23. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1144
553
70
24. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1013
1327
371
25. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
918
455
60
26. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
762
607
117
27. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160
706
2548
1566
28. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
699
495
85
29. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
693
704
169
30. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
653
810
232
31. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
616
561
124
32. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
600
804
249
33. X1300 256MB, 450/550
577
371
65
34. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
414
995
519
35. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
254
1152
1038

"Prospect" Rating:

GAMING ONLY prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Approx. price
01. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160
245
1477
1566
02. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
452
1332
783
03. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
502
1302
680
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
482
1237
653
05. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
560
1114
463
06. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
530
1057
452
07. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
636
966
334
08. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
378
802
371
09. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
525
786
257
10. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
558
717
220
11. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
97
706
1038
12. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
504
705
235
13. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
553
703
204
14. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
567
669
180
15. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
170
633
519
16. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
453
631
200
17. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
703
630
134
18. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
626
618
148
19. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
511
575
150
20. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
275
521
232
21. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
254
519
249
22. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
486
505
134
23. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
603
498
100
24. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
420
484
130
25. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
479
483
125
26. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
293
455
169
27. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
464
426
96
28. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
492
392
80
29. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
319
391
117
30. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
468
390
80
31. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
258
361
124
32. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
417
333
70
33. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
293
320
85
34. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
337
277
60
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
213
224
65


GENERAL prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Approx. price
01. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160
706
2548
1566
02. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
1236
2221
783
03. EVGA 8800 GTX 768MB, 625/2000
1390
2192
680
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
1334
2075
653
05. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
1589
1898
463
06. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
1466
1775
452
07. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
1787
1636
334
08. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
1013
1327
371
09. X1950 XT 512MB, 625/1800
1416
1311
257
10. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
1598
1231
220
11. 8600 GTS 256MB, 675/2000
1451
1212
235
12. X1900 XT 256MB, 625/1450
1494
1168
204
13. 7950GX2 SLI 2x2x512MB, 500/1200
254
1152
1038
14. X1950 PRO 512MB, 575/1370
1542
1117
180
15. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
1293
1080
200
16. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
1937
1052
134
17. X1950 PRO 256MB, 580/1400
1708
1032
148
18. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
1518
1005
150
19. BFG 7950GX2 2x512MB, 500/1200
414
995
519
20. 8500 GT 256MB, 600/1200
1733
855
100
21. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/828
1229
839
130
22. X1650 XT 256MB, 625/1540
1316
839
134
23. 7950 GT 256MB 600/1430
653
810
232
24. 7950 GT 512MB 550/1400
600
804
249
25. X1650 XT 256MB, 600/1400
1289
797
125
26. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
1332
732
96
27. 7900 GS 256MB, 450/1320
693
704
169
28. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
1385
680
80
29. X1650 PRO 256MB 590/1380
1368
657
80
30. 7600 GT 256MB, 560/1400
762
607
117
31. 7600 GS 512MB, 550/950
616
561
124
32. X1300 XT 256MB 500/800
1144
553
70
33. 7600 GS 256MB, 400/800
699
495
85
34. X1300 PRO 256MB, 600/800
918
455
60
35. X1300 256MB, 450/550
577
371
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. 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)






August 17, 2007

Article navigation:



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


15

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.