3Dmark06 and F.E.A.R.
Performance Comparisons with 3DMark06 v1.0.2
3DMark06 is the latest addition to the 3DMark franchise. This version differs from 3Dmark05 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.
Although performance is relatively low in the 3DMark06 benchmark, the updated Gigabyte 690-based motherboard does show a marked improvement here.
Performance Comparisons with F.E.A.R
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One of the most highly anticipated titles of recent years was Monolith's paranormal thriller F.E.A.R. Taking a look at the game's minimum system requirements, we see that you will need at least a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of system memory and a 64MB graphics card in the Radeon 9000 or GeForce4 Ti-classes or better, to adequately run the game. Using the full retail release of the game patched to v1.07, we put the graphics cards in this article through their paces to see how they fared with a popular title. Here, all graphics settings within the game were set to their maximum values, but with soft shadows disabled (Soft shadows and anti-aliasing do not work together currently). Benchmark runs were then completed at a resolution of 1024x768, with no anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.
Once again, performance was relatively low in comparison to discreet graphics cards in the F.E.A.R. benchmark, but the updated Gigabyte board was faster. One frame per second may not seem like much, but it equates to an increase of 12.5% in this situation. We should also note that we ran the game with low quality settings at this same resolution as well, and the Radeon X1250 put up an average framerate of 33 FPS. Not bad for an IGP.