Installation was hassle free and within 20 minutes I had removed the detonator drivers from my previous card and eradicated any traces of the NVIDIA drivers via NF cleaner. Once this was done the pc was switched off and the Asus X1900XTX was installed. Then it just a case of installing the ATI driver and rebooting and you are ready to go.
Testing involves using the usual 3dMark05/06 as well as using fraps to watch the Min, Avg, and Max FPS of the card at different resolutions. This way we can give, you lot an idea of what to expect from this card when you put it in your machine.
SyncMAX 800mhz 2gig kit
Non removable disks
2x 160-GB Samsung
Pioneer 16x speed D/L
Supplied by Silverstone
Silverstone ST562F 560w PSU
The games used to test the FPS on were Half-Life 2, F.E.A.R, Quake and GRAW. How we will do the testing, results published as normal and at the end a chart with the scores from overclocking. The overclocked results will all be at the same 1280x1024 as this is now the most common resolution.
3dMark is a graphics test created by the people at Futuremark. There is a lot of discussion about the relevance of such tests, and personally I think the only thing they provide is a reference for similar cards. Because of driver optimization, etc, the best thing I think test suites can be used for is performance testing with the same card at different clock speeds and different settings. Here is a few words about the futuremark software
Futuremark have recently released the 06 version of 3dMark, but the 2005 is still used by lots of people so I will be testing with both. Here is a list of the different technology used by the 2 versions:
As you can see 3dMark 06 introduces new technology like SM3.0 and HDR, as well as optimizations for dual core. But 06 has some downfalls really with the end score as the CPU effects this and that is why we still use 05 as well. There is also a huge increase in shader complexity and smooth shadows, both becoming main features of new games.
We only one run one score on this test just to give you an idea of what to expect, let us move on to the newer but also more CPU related 06 and test across all the resolutions most commonly used.
As Racks explanation says, “these test programs are mainly for showing the penalties of image quality and resolution, at least in my mind, as some driver fixes can give 20% “performance increase” I see little gain in using this tool to compare different graphics cards.” However, nerveless here are the results received.
The same thing happened on the 3dMark06 test with us being able to squeeze a bit of extra juice out of this baby.
We use fraps to monitor FPS why in game, each resolution was monitored for ten minutes and the min, max and avg results received are taken. This gives us the end users a chance to see what the real game performance is like.
As with all the game tests image quality was set on the best possible, these are the results received.
Now I am impressed with an average FPS of 85 to 102 across the board, the highest FPS are amazing as well but the average is what you can expect to see most of the time in game.
FEAR is one intense game and to play smoothly really needs a machine with 2 gig of ram and a sorted Graphics card. To run this game at a high res with all effects on either a SLi setup would be needed or a card with 512mb of ram
In my opinion this card can just about handle fear at 1600x1200 with the AA and AF on, it did perform best at 1280x1024 but still was playable at 1600x1200. As mentioned the 512mb of card ram was more than upto the job.
Quake was fully playable at all 1600x1200, I was quite pleased with this game running at this res and it looked amazing with all the settings on as high as they could go and the most playable I had seen yet.
COD 2 looked superb at 1600x1200 and I ended up playing the whole game again, it is truly a remarkable change from the 1280x1024 I played it on. Our final game test is Ghost Recon advance warfare, we will be using this as a bench from now on as it has some good effects that put stress on the card.
As you can see across the board this card indicates why the X1900XTX is king of the cards at the moment (no wonder Asus decided to bundle king kong with the card. With all the image quality options in all games set to it best I was well impressed with the overall results from the card.
On the Overclocking front we managed to get the card up to 702 and 1629 and the results were an average of 3% increase in FPS, why not amazing I don’t really think it is necessary as the card performs excellently at all resolutions.
Next Page, Conclusion