|Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT G96 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 15 August 2008|
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3DMark06 Benchmark Results
3DMark is a computer benchmark by Futuremark (formerly Mad Onion) 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.
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. 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 helpful in measuring the maximum output performance in the test results.
Right off the start, we can see that there's a very good reason why NVIDIA is marketing the GeForce 9500 GT below the $100 price level. With a Shader Model 2.0 score of 1728, the Foxconn 9500GT-256FR3 is well beneath the competition. Even when you look at the HDR/Shader Model 3.0 results, the GeForce 9500 GT scores 187% less than the GeForce 8800 GS and 240% less than the 9600 GT. Keeping in mind that this is Foxconn's Standard OC Edition video card, the 9500 GT doesn't look like the GeForce products we're used to seeing.
Bumping the GPU strain up a notch with 1280x1024 resolutions the scores remain relatively comparable in terms of performance ratio. Once again the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 completely annihilates the competition with major-GPU muscle, but the rest of the pack still manages to keep up the pace with decent results... except the 9500 GT.
The GeForce 9500 GT SM 2.0 score of 1258 performed noticeably less than the 8800 GS and Palit GeForce 9600 GT. In the SM3 tests, the Foxconn 9500GT-256FR3 produced a score 186% less than that of the overclocked 8800 GS and a full 259% below the 9600 GT. As a comparison, the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB AMP! Edition produced a score 291% better with 2692.
After seeing the first three-digit score I've ever recorded in 3dMark06, I decided it was time to finishing up the series of synthetic benchmark tests and move on to the real-world gaming performance. If you were hoping to see the newer 9500 GT product line outperform the older 8800 GS series, I was hoping for it too. Heck, I even thought it might come close to the level of performance we see from the 9600 GT series just one notch above it.
Video Card Test Products
Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT 9500GT-256FR3 (560 MHz GPU/1400 Shader/810 RAM - Forceware 177.79 WHQL Candidate)
XFX PV-T88S-FDD4 GeForce 8800 GS (680 MHz GPU/1700 Shader/800 RAM - Forceware v177.79)
Palit GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Sonic NE/960TSX0202 (700 MHz GPU/1750/1000 RAM - Forceware v177.79)
ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB AMP! Edition ZT-88TES3P-FCP (700 MHz GPU/1700 Shader/1000 RAM - Forceware v177.79)
FOXCONN GeForce 9800 GTX Standard OC Edition 9800GTX-512N (685 MHz GPU/1713 Shader/1100 RAM - Forceware v175.79)
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 102-B50102-00-AT (625 MHz GPU/993 MHz RAM - Catalyst 8.7)
Take the 3DMark06 tests at face value, because in our next section we begin real-world testing on a cadre of popular video games known for taxing the graphics processor, and the order of this lineup might possibly change. Our first up is Crysis, so please continue on...