|Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 25 March 2008|
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3DMark06 Benchmark Results
3DMark is a computer benchmark by Futuremark (formerly MadOnion) to determine the DirectX performance of 3D game performance with graphics cards. 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests.
3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.
Here at Benchmark Reviews, we believe that synthetic benchmark tools are just as valuable as video games, but only so long as you're comparing apples to apples. Since the same test is applied in the same controlled method with each test run, I believe 3DMark is a very reliable tool for comparing graphic cards against one-another.
Low-resolution testing allows the graphics processor to plateau maximum output performance, which thereby shifts demand onto the system components. At the lower resolutions 3DMark will reflect the GPU's top-end speed in the composite score, indicating full-throttle performance with little load. This makes for a less GPU-dependant test environment, is is helpful in measuring the maximum output performance in the test results.
Using a 1024x768 resolution as a starting point the maximum settings were applied, which for these tests includes 8x Anti-Aliasing and 16x Anisotropic Filtering. Without question the GeForce 9800 GX2 outperforms every other competitor by a great margin of difference. Recording a SM 2.0 score of 5772 outperformed the GTX score of 3603 by almost 38%. Even the shader model 3.0 tests rendered a 37% advantage to the 9800 GX2. Conversely, the MSI GeForce 8800 GTX shows only a 5% lead over the AMP!'ed GT in SM 2.0 tests, and barely 11% in the HDR/SM 3.0 tests.
Bumping the GPU strain up a notch with 1280x1024 resolutions the scores remain relatively comparable in terms of performance ratio. While Gigabyte's GeForce 9800 GX2 completely annihilates the competition, the ZOTAC 8800 GT AMP! Edition maintains the same general performance ratio as it displayed in the 1024x768 tests, largely outperforming the GTS but still playing second-best to the GTX.
While the entire G92-based 9-series is PCI Express 2.0 compatible, the older G80-based GPU's are not. There doesn't seem to be any immediate advantage shown in our tests using the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 motherboard.
Finishing up the series of synthetic benchmark tests under heavy load, Gigabyte's mighty 9800 GX2 prevails with a 40% performance lead over the overclocked MSI 8800 GTX. ZOTAC's 8800 GT AMP! Edition video card showed a prevailing strength against the aging GeForce 8800 GTS in the shader model 2.0 tests, but it tapered out in the more demanding SM 3.0 tests. In these 1600x1200 tests the AMP!'ed GT was outperformed the GTX by 11% in the high dynamic-range / shader model 3.0 tests, but the GX2 cleared the GTX by over 38%.
If you take the 3DMark06 tests at face value, the 9800 GX2 obviously out-classes the other competitors, and the 8800 GT falls right between the GTS and GTX. But in our next section we begin real-world testing on a cadre of popular video games known for taxing the graphics processor, and this lineup might change. Our first up is Call of Duty 4, so please continue on...