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i3DSpeed: November 2007

December 4, 2007



Monthly drivers report and popular 3D
accelerators comparison

The i3DSpeed, a project of iXBT.com and Digit-Life.com, is dedicated to informing you about performance of a large number of graphics cards under Windows XP and Vista.

This issue is dedicated to drivers released from the 15th of October 2007 to the 15th of November 2007. Traditionally, we offer you summaries of performance of the popular graphics cards, and also inform you about the best price/performance deals in the market.

The quality of 3D graphics is examined in a large number of games in a separate publication.

Issue #1(90)

November 2007

RADEON HD 3850/3870 test results added.

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



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 has the following operating systems installed:

  • Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c,
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit, DirectX 10;

We also used the 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.

Cards:

  1. PCI-E-ATI RADEON X1950 XTX 512MB GDDR4 0.9ns (650/2000 MHz)
  2. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2400 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (700/1600 MHz)
  3. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2600 PRO 256MB GDDR2 2.0ns (600/1000 MHz)
  4. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2600 PRO 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (700/1400 MHz)
  5. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR3 1.4ns (800/1400 MHz)
  6. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 0.9ns (800/2200 MHz)
  7. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2900 PRO 512MB GDDR3 1.0ns (600/1600 MHz)
  8. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 3850 256MB GDDR3 1.0ns (670/1660 MHz)
  9. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 3850 512MB GDDR3 1.0ns (720/1800 MHz)
  10. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 3870 512MB GDDR4 0.8ns (775/2250 MHz)
  11. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2900 XT 512MB GDDR3 1.0ns (743/1660 MHz)
  12. PCI-E-ATI RADEON HD 2900 XT 1024MB GDDR3 0.8ns (743/2000 MHz)
  13. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT 256MB GDDR2 2.5ns (450/800 MHz)
  14. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 1.2ns (560/1560 MHz)
  15. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB GDDR3 1.0ns (720/2200 MHz)
  16. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 1.0ns (600/1800 MHz)
  17. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 1.0ns (700/2000 MHz)
  18. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB GDDR3 1.2ns (512/1600 MHz)
  19. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB GDDR3 1.2ns (512/1600 MHz)
  20. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3 1.1ns (575/1800 MHz)
  21. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB GDDR3 0.8ns (612/2160 MHz)
  22. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB GDDR3 0.8ns (655/2250 MHz)
  23. PCI-E-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB GDDR3 0.8ns (2x612/2160 MHz)

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

3. November 2007 news and matters

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

  • 3.1. The following drivers were released from October 15, 2007 to November 15, 2007:



  • 3.2. This month we used 169.04 drivers for NVIDIA-based card summaries, 7.10 drivers for ATI-based card summaries.

4. Summary charts of graphics cards performance with the latest drivers as of November 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-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 like textures, lighting, etc.) Besides, newbies should read separate reviews dedicated to new products. There are just two major GPU vendors: ATI (recently merged with AMD under its brand) and NVIDIA. Thus, all information is generally separated in two parts. We also publish i3DSpeed articles that sum up all comparisons of graphics cards for various price ranges. In the February 2007 issue we analyzed dependence of modern graphics cards on processors without antialiasing and anisotropic filtering. We did the same with AA and AF in the March 2007 issue.

And now 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 7.10, NVIDIA ForceWare 169.04.


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. HD 3850 512MB, 720/1800
210
512
300
02. 8800 GT 512MB, 700/2000
198
610
450
03. 8800 GT 512MB, 600/1800
197
559
400
04. HD 2900 PRO 512MB, 600/1600
192
538
320
05. HD 3850 256MB, 670/1660
185
455
277
06. HD 3870 512MB, 775/2250
177
542
385
07. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
176
273
98
08. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
174
286
120
09. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
166
326
173
10. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
164
569
435
11. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
162
676
600
12. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
158
303
144
13. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/1400
152
291
135
14. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
145
698
716
15. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/1000
145
251
99
16. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 655/2250
140
738
803
17. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
139
202
67
18. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
137
455
384
19. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
135
582
525
20. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
128
215
83
21. HD 2900 XT 1024MB, 750/2000
121
611
630
22. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
115
388
290
23. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160
92
811
1432

GENERAL usability rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Approx. price
01. HD 3850 512MB, 720/1800
918
1106
300
02. 8800 GT 512MB, 600/1800
842
1208
400
03. 8800 GT 512MB, 700/2000
836
1306
450
04. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
830
598
98
05. HD 2900 PRO 512MB, 600/1600
824
1128
320
06. HD 3850 256MB, 670/1660
813
988
277
07. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
767
616
120
08. HD 3870 512MB, 775/2250
765
1161
385
09. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
743
714
173
10. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
722
665
144
11. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/1400
700
638
135
12. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/1000
675
549
99
13. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
671
1175
435
14. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
646
1378
600
15. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
634
433
67
16. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
605
997
384
17. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
581
1432
716
18. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
580
1225
525
19. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 655/2250
562
1513
803
20. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
562
454
83
21. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
518
842
290
22. HD 2900 XT 1024MB, 750/2000
509
1269
630
23. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160
373
1681
1432

Prospect rating

GAMING ONLY prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Approx. price
01. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160
92
811
1432
02. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 655/2250
140
738
803
03. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160
145
698
716
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800
162
676
600
05. HD 2900 XT 1024MB, 750/2000
121
611
630
06. 8800 GT 512MB, 700/2000
198
610
450
07. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660
135
582
525
08. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600
164
569
435
09. 8800 GT 512MB, 600/1800
197
559
400
10. HD 3870 512MB, 775/2250
177
542
385
11. HD 2900 PRO 512MB, 600/1600
192
538
320
12. HD 3850 512MB, 720/1800
210
512
300
13. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600
137
455
384
14. HD 3850 256MB, 670/1660
185
455
277
15. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000
115
388
290
16. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200
166
326
173
17. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200
158
303
144
18. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/1400
152
291
135
19. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560
174
286
120
20. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400
176
273
98
21. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/1000
145
251
99
22. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800
128
215
83
23. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600
139
202
67

GENERAL prospect rating

# Card Usability rating Prospect rating Approx. price
01. 8800 Ultra SLI 2x768MB, 612/2160 373 1681 1432
02. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 655/2250 562 1513 803
03. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/2160 581 1432 716
04. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1800 646 1378 600
05. 8800 GT 512MB, 700/2000 836 1306 450
06. HD 2900 XT 1024MB, 750/2000 509 1269 630
07. HD 2900 XT 512MB, 750/1660 580 1225 525
08. 8800 GT 512MB, 600/1800 842 1208 400
09. 8800 GTS 640MB, 512/1600 671 1175 435
10. HD 3870 512MB, 775/2250 765 1161 385
11. HD 2900 PRO 512MB, 600/1600 824 1128 320
12. HD 3850 512MB, 720/1800 918 1106 300
13. 8800 GTS 320MB, 512/1600 605 997 384
14. HD 3850 256MB, 670/1660 813 988 277
15. X1950 XTX 512MB, 650/2000 518 842 290
16. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/2200 743 714 173
17. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/2200 722 665 144
18. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/1400 700 638 135
19. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1560 767 616 120
20. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/1400 830 598 98
21. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/1000 675 549 99
22. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/800 562 454 83
23. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/1600 634 433 67


We thank all the companies that provided us with graphics cards and other equipment for our i3DSpeed, 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 provided by HIPER




The Dell 3007WFP monitor was provided by NVIDIA




Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)
04.11.2007

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