AOpen GeForce FX 5900XT Review

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HH Test Setup and Benchmarking with AquaMark 3 and Halo

HotHardware's Testing Setup
Where it all begins

We tested the AOpen GeForce FX 5900XT on an i875P based Albatron motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 2.4CGHz CPU (800MHz System Bus).  The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and load the "High Performance Defaults".  Then we set the memory to operate at 200MHz (Dual DDR400) with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set by SPD and the AGP aperture size set to 256MB. The hard drive was formatted and Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 was installed.  After the installation completed, we installed the latest Intel chipset drivers and then hit the Windows Update site to download and install all of the available updates. Next, we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and Windows Messenger was disabled and removed from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, the hard drive was de-fragmented, and a 768MB permanent page file was created. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance", installed all of the benchmarking software and ran all of the tests.

Video Cards Test

AOpen GeForce FX 5900XT (420/700) - 128MB
GeForce FX 5900XT (390/700) - 128MB
BFG GeForce FX 5700 Ultra - 128MB
Gigabyte ATi Radeon 9600XT - 128MB

Benchmarks Used:

Aquamark3
Halo v1.031
Unreal Tournament 2004
Splinter Cell - Oil Rig Demo
Final Fantasy XI v2.0
Far Cry
Comanche 4 Demo
Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory

Common System Hardware:

Albatron 875P Motherboard
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU / 800MHz FSB
512MB (256MB x2) Kingston HyperX PC3500 DDR
Western Digital 30GB Hard Drive
Artec Dual-DVD-ROM

 

Software / System Drivers:

Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1
DirectX 9.0b
Intel Chipset Software, v5.1.1.1002
ATi Catalyst Drivers, v4.6
NVIDIA ForceWare Driver v56.72


Performance Comparisons With AquaMark 3
DX8 and DX9 Shaders

AquaMark 3
AquaMark 3 comes to us by way of Massive Development. Massive's release of the original Aquanox in 1999 wasn't very well received by the gaming community, but it was one of the first games to implement DX8 class shaders, which led to the creation of AquaMark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Since the AquaMark benchmarks are based on an actual game engine, they must support old and new video cards alike. Thus, the latest version of AquaMark, AquaMark 3, utilizes not only DirectX 9 class shaders, but DirectX 8 and DirectX 7 as well. We ran this benchmark at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1600x1200 with no anti-aliasing and then with 4x AA enabled.

In the AquaMark 3 tests, the AOpen GeForce FX 5900XT topped the stock 5900XT by an average of 2-3FPS.  The additional 30MHz the AOpen GeForce FX 5900XT sports gives it an extra boost of 7.5%, but in the end, this changes the big picture very little.

Benchmarks With Halo
Halo - All Patched & Ready To Go!

Halo
For many gamers, the release of Halo marked the end of a long wait, since it was originally released as an Xbox exclusive a few years back. No additional patches or tweaks are needed to benchmark with Halo, as Gearbox has included all of the necessary information in their README file. The Halo benchmark runs through four of the cut-scenes from the game, after which the average frame rate is recorded. We patched the game using the v1.02 patch and ran this benchmark twice, once at 1024x768 and then again at 1280x1024. Anti-aliasing doesn't work properly with Halo at the moment, so all of the test below were run with anti-aliasing disabled.

With Halo, there was little gained by running the 5900XT at 420MHz, with both 5900XT models running a tight race.  When we increased the resolution to 1280x1024, this allowed each card's performance to come into play as the CPU became less of a bottleneck.  Here, the AOpen card's increased core clock speed became more advantageous, adding 4FPS to the results.

Tags:  GeForce, force, fx, pen, review, view, XT, IE, Open

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