Aopen Aelous FX5600S

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The AOpen Aeolus FX5600S
AOpen Enters the Mainstream with Some Punch

By - Tom Laverriere
December 3, 2003

Benchmarks With Unreal Tournament 2003
DX8 Performance In The Mainstream

Epic's Unreal Tournament has consistently been one of the most popular shooters, and by no coincidence is it also one of the most used benchmarks for video card testing.  There are many variants to testing the demo version, one of which is to use a "Flyby", which plays back a recorded tour of one of the levels.  Here in the labs, we use a custom INI file that maximizes the graphical settings, and then displays the average frame rate for three strenuous resolutions.  We chose the 1024x768x32 and 1600x1200x32 scores for our reports, with and without anti-aliasing enabled.

Seems like the story will stay the same here, with ATi keeping its lead.  The biggest surprise is at the 6X AA setting at 1024x768 resolution.  The AOpen FX 5600 falls behind here by a whopping 64% to the 9600 Pro and 68% to the 9600 XT.  Even with NVIDIA's latest drivers and the extra memory, the AOpen FX 5600 card is a far cry from the ATI 9600 series of cards.  This speaks volumes of the hardware in use by the cards here.  Perhaps the FX 5600 GPU just doesn't have the muscle compared to the 9600 VPU?  The good news is that for mainstream cards, we are still seeing some solid frame rates.

Head-to-Head Performance With Splinter Cell
Stealth Pixel Shading Redefined

Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three demos in addition to a benchmarking feature, but this appears to be more CPU limited than VPU.  So, in order to come up with some more meaningful results, we used the Oil Rig demo created by the folks at Beyond 3D.  This demo removes two CPU intensive routines while increasing dependence on Pixel Shader performance.  Shaders are used to render the realistic looking ocean water surrounding the Oil Rig, as well as simulating a night vision display.  As we've mentioned in the past, anti-aliasing doesn't work with Splinter cell (at least with the current version).  Due to this fact, we do not have any AA scores listed in the graphs below.

We feel like a broken record again, as the ATi 9600 cards again pull away from the AOpen FX 5600.  The higher resolution creates an even larger gap in favor of the ATi cards, leading us to believe that the extra memory on the AOpen card is pretty much a novelty at this point, since fill rate of the GPU is really where the bottleneck is.  Next up in our suite of tests are Final Fantasy and Gun Metal.

Final Fantasy & Gun Metal Tests

Tags:  x5, fx, pen, 560, Open

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