As you know, the X700 XT release was accompanied by the announcement of a new series, which included a weaker video card – X700.
Three cards were released:
They are based on the same processor – RV410, its 3D section contains 8 pixel and 6 vertex pipelines. 128-bit memory bus.
We have reviewed video cards based on X700 PRO and X700 XT many times, you can find information on them at the end of this article. But there has been one omission up to now: we could get only emulated X700 performance by reducing operating frequencies in X700 PRO. Besides, we had only 256 MB models, so we test X700 128MB for the first time. So, in some respects it's the first review of such video cards.
What's so remarkable about the X700? First of all, it belongs to the top-sale segment of video cards (120-140 USD). Its competitor is GeForce 6600, which also has 8 pixel pipelines but only 3 vertex ones. Its frequencies are much lower than those of the X700: 300/250 (500) MHz. However, their architectures differ so much that it's stupid to compare them by frequencies. Besides we remember well that GeForce 6800 Ultra at 400-425 MHz offers performance similar to the X800 XT PE at 520 MHz.
But still, both the X700 and 6600 belong to the same price segment so we shall compare them. I also want to note that both cards have the PCI-E interface (evoking ironical smiles or wry faces), but don't forget that this market segment is growing fast.
I guess there is no point in introducing the manufacturer, all our readers without exception know Gigabyte well – it has been working on Russian market for over ten years already. So, let's get straight to business.
As you can see, I have compared the X700 with the X700 PRO PCB design from Gigabyte on purpose. It's crystal clear that both products seem identical. But still, the differences exist, they mostly concern the power unit of the card (it's simplified, because the card comes equipped with DDR memory instead of GDDR3). But PCB designs generally match (the X700 PRO from Gigabyte is an exact copy of the reference design).
Let's review the cooling system.
Now what concerns GPU.
Nothing unexpected. The designation corresponds completely to the chip purpose.
Installation and Drivers
VSync is disabled.
Test results: performance comparison
We used the following test applications:
TR:AoD, Paris5_4 DEMO
In the previous article I have already mentioned that something is wrong with 128 MB ATI video cards, which suddenly fail the tests in AA+AF, which is not the case with their 256 MB counterparts. Here we can see the same failure by the X700. But without AA+AF the picture is contrary, the X700 is the leader.
Considering average performance in this game, one can say that the X700 is an obvious leader.
On the whole it's a gloomy picture for the product from ATI (and from Gigabyte) in this test: the 6600 is faster (1280x1024 with AA+AF mode does not count – the performance is too low for gaming).
This test, on the contrary, brought excellent results and a success to the X700.
That's why it's impossible to rate Far Cry results univocally, though the X700 looks better in most cases.
Half-Life2: ixbt01 demo
The situation resembles the first test: the X700 demonstrates phenomenal success and leadership without AA+AF, but with AA+AF the situation changes to the contrary.
Half-Life2: ixbt02 demo
Gigabyte demonstrates a brilliant victory here! The competitor is outscored by 50%!
Half-Life2: ixbt03 demo
The same picture! The success is still phenomenal, the figures are smaller though.
At first I wanted to write that there was no point in looking at percents. NVIDIA would be the first in this game anyway... But despite the defeat without AA+AF, the results have given cause for reflection, because the X700 gained an impressive victory over its competitor with AA+AF.
To all appearances, the 6600 droops due to AA (that's Achilles' heel of this card).
X700 is victorious, though its advantage wanes at increasing resolution. However, if you consider the rates shown by 3DMark05 at such resolutions for these cards, this stain on the X700 reputation means almost nothing. :)
2D quality: 1600x1200x85Hz – excellent! This video card can be recommended to those who love peace and quiet, because this card has no fan. Besides, it offers a decent performance potential. Operating stability is excellent, we have no complaints about it (speaking of this sample).
In our 3Digest you can find more detailed comparisons of various video cards.
Theoretical materials and reviews of video cards, which concern functional properties of the GPU ATI RADEON X800 (R420)/X850 (R480)/X700 (RV410) and NVIDIA GeForce 6800 (NV40/45)/6600 (NV43)
We express our thanks to
for the provided video card
Andrey Vorobiev (firstname.lastname@example.org)
February 14, 2005
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