3DMark 2001 and 3DMark03
To get a handle on how these
systems took to gaming environments, we chose Futuremark's 3DMark 2001 SE and
3DMark03. Both of these benchmarks render a variety
of scenes, using DirectX 8 and 9 vertex and pixel shaders,
respectively. We ran
both sets of of tests on each system, setting the resolution to 1024x768 with 32-bit color,
and all other settings left at their defaults.
Unsurprisingly, the Abit IS7-G took
the lead in both versions of 3DMark, surpassing the
Asus P4P800S-E by a percent or so in each test. The
usual pattern persisted after that, with the Albatron
PX865PE in third, and Gigabyte's 8S648FX bringing up the
rear. The grouping of the
scores in 3DMark03 was very close, as the rating is more
dependent on the video card used. 3DMark 2001 showed
a little most disparity, with 1215 points separating the
first and last boards, a 10% delta in performance.
Comanche 4 Demo and Quake 3 Arena
Benching, blasting & fragging!
Synthetic gaming benchmarks
are good for making comparisons, but don't show actual
gameplay results. So, we took two
games that have built-in testing modes, which will show us
the average frame rate. Comanche 4
is a DirectX benchmark that is highly CPU and Memory
bandwidth dependent. For testing purposes, we ran
the Demo version at 800x600x32, but disabled the audio.
Quake 3 Arena is a well-known OpenGL benchmark,
that has been used in many reviews as a good reference
Although a bit dated, it still can be used to give
reliable comparisons of system performance. Since
the frame rates can get quite high, we maxed out the
graphical settings, and ran "demo four" at a resolution of
1024x768 with 32-bit color and textures.
Nothing new here to really
comment on. While all the boards are completely
capable of building a gaming machine around, the Abit
IS7-G and other Springdales are clearly at the top of the
mainstream list. Our two I848P entries with only
single channel memory are still putting up some good
numbers, however, and it really comes down to how much
money one has to spend. Are the extra dollars spent
worth a few extra frames per second?
Conclusion and our