|ASUS ENGTX260 Matrix GeForce GTX 260 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 14 May 2009|
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3DMark06 Benchmark Results
3DMark is a computer benchmark by Futuremark (formerly named Mad Onion) to determine the DirectX 9 performance of 3D game performance with graphics cards. 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 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. Some enthusiasts may note that Benchmark Reviews does not include CPU-bound tests in our benchmark battery, and that only graphic-bound tests are included.
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.
1680x1050 is rapidly becoming the new 1280x1024. More and more widescreen are being sold with new systems or as upgrades to existing ones. Even in tough economic times, the tide cannot be turned back; screen resolution and size will continue to creep up. Using this resolution as a starting point, the maximum settings were applied to 3dMark06 which for these tests include 8x Anti-Aliasing and 16x Anisotropic Filtering.
The four test scenarios in 3DMark06 provide a varied set of challenges for the video cards and their subsystems. I am sometimes a little puzzled by the results of the Shader Model 2.0 results, as they always seem to throw a wrench in the works. In this case, the GT2 results are almost perfectly scaled, according to the theoretical processing power and price of the cards in the test. GT1 however throws a wicked curveball at the GTX260 and the HD4890. In many cases, the best advice for selecting a video card is to buy it based on its performance with the applications you will be using. Good thing the SM2.0 benchmarks aren't one of those applications.
The SM3.0 benchmarks provide a more consistent set of results, even if they do favor the Radeon processors. Based on these results, it doesn't pay to spend the extra money for the GTX260 over the HD4850, and the HD4890 is the king of the hill, edging out the GTX285 by a small margin. They two high-end cards both loom tall over the rest of the pack, however, by providing a significant performance gain.