HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the graphics cards in this article on an Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD6 motherboard powered by a Core i7 965 quad-core processor and 6GB of OCZ DDR3 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the system BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings. Then we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS and installed the latest hotfixes, along with the necessary drivers and applications.
|Relevant Software: |
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
ATI Catalyst v9.10b
NVIDIA GeForce Drive v191.00
3DMark Vantage v1.0.1
Left 4 Dead*
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.5*
* - Custom benchmark
||The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which y isn't available on previous versions of Windows. 3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though. With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware. We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1200 with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering.|
The new Radeon HD 5870 put up a strong performance in 3DMark Vantage. AMD's new flagship graphics card smoked all of the single-GPU based cards and even outpaced the dual-GPU powered Radeon HD 4870 X2. The GeForce GTX 295, however, was able to pull ahead by a sizable margin, thanks in part to NVIDIA's PhysX technology, which is used by this benchmark.