Gigabyte GV-NX79X512DB-RH - HotHardware

Gigabyte GV-NX79X512DB-RH

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HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested the NVIDIA based cards on an Asus A8N32-SLI nForce 4 SLIX16 chipset based motherboard. The ATI powered cards, however, were tested on an A8R32-MVP motherboard based on the CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset. Both systems used the same AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 dual-core processor and 2GB of low-latency Corsair XMS RAM, though. The first thing we did when configuring these test systems was enter each BIOS and loaded their "High Performance Defaults."  The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP2 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the latest chipset drivers available, installed all of the other drivers necessary for the rest of our components, and removed Windows Messenger from the system.  Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, the hard drive was defragmented, and a 1024MB permanent page file was created on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed all of the benchmarking software, and ran the tests.

The HotHardware Test Systems
AMD Athlon 64 FX Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -





Video Cards -





Memory -


Audio -

Hard Driv
e -

 

Hardware Used:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 (2.6GHz x 2)

Asus A8N32-SLI
nForce4 SLIX16 chipset

Asus A8R32-MVP
ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200

Gigabyte GV-NX79X512DB-RH

GeForce 7950 GX2
Reference GeForce 7900 GTX
Radeon X1900 XTX


2048MB Corsair XMS PC3200 RAM
CAS 2

Integrated on board

Western Digital "Raptor"

36GB - 10,000RPM - SATA

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers
-




Synthetic (DX) -
DirectX -
DirectX -
DirectX -
DirectX -
OpenGL -
Relevant Software:
Windows XP Professional SP2
nForce Drivers v6.85
DirectX 9.0c (March Redist)

NVIDIA Forceware v91.29

ATI Catalyst v6.5


Benchmarks Used:
3DMark06 v1.0.2
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory v1.05
FarCry v1.33*
F.E.A.R. v1.05
Half Life 2*
Quake 4 v1.2*

* - Custom Test (HH Exclusive demo)
Performance Comparisons with 3DMark06 v1.0.2
Details: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/

3DMark06
Futuremark recently launched a brand-new version of their popular benchmark, 3DMark06. The new version of the benchmark is updated in a number of ways, and now includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased as well. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups the number of instructions to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting, and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.

Gigabyte's GV-NX79X512DB performed almost exactly like NVIDIA's reference GeForce 7900 GTX, which is to say it performed quite good. The new 7950 GX2 was significantly faster, but this is to be expected considering the GX2 has two similar GPUs and double the amount of on-board frame buffer memory.  And of course, the GX2 is much more expensive to boot. 

If we focus on 3DMark06's individual results, we see that the Gigabyte GV-NX79X512DB also performed well in the Shader Model 2.0 tests, outpacing a Radeon X1900 XTX by a couple of hundred points. 

The same can't be said in the more taxing Shader Model 3.0 tests, however.  Here, the Radeon X1900 XTX turns the tables on the Gigabyte GV-NX79X512DB and outpaces the 7900 GTX by a couple of percentage points. And as you can clearly see, the new GeForce 7950 GX2 simply can't be touched.

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