ASUS Extreme AX600XT vs. MSI PCX 5750: Budget PCI-Express

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HotHardware Test Bed & Image Quality

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested both cards on a Shuttle SB81 i915 chipsest-based motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 550 @ 3.4GHz CPU. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "High Performance Defaults." Then we set the memory to operate at 200MHz in dual-channel mode, with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set by the SPD, and then we set the AGP aperture size to 256MB. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP2 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the Intel chipset drivers and hit the Windows Update site to download and install all of the available updates. Then we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating, System Restore, and Drive Indexing were then disabled, the hard drive was defragmented, and a 768MB 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 the benchmarking software, and ran all of the tests.

The HotHardware Test System
Intel Powered Screamer
Hardware:
Processor -

Motherboard -


Video Cards -



Memory -


Audio -

Hard Drive -


Optical Drive -

Other -

Software:
Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers
-

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz

Shuttle SB81 Motherboard
i915G Chipset

GeForce 6600 GT

ATI Radeon X600 XT
GeForce PCX 5750

1024MB Kingston HyperX PC3500
CAS 2

Integrated SoundMax Audio

Western Digital "Raptor"
36GB - 10,000RPM - SATA

Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM

3.5-inch floppy drive


Windows XP Professional SP2 (Fully Patched)
Intel INF v6.0.1.1002
DirectX 9.0c

ATI Catalyst v4.9
NVIDIA Forceware v65.76
Image Quality
Looking Sharp

Before we get into the benchmarking of these two cards, we decided a few screen shots were in order.  Typically, we like to run off a few screen shots to show the image quality potential of a particular video card.  Naturally, we need to take into account the class of card we are reviewing before passing judgement on how good or bad an image looks.  Let's face it, you get what you pay for.

Below we snapped the same sequence of images with each card with various objects in hand.  The images were taken with High-Quality set in game, 4XAA and 8X Anisotropic Filtering enabled in drivers, both consistent with the settings used to benchmark Doom 3 later on.

Screen Shots Of Doom 3 taken with MSI's GeForce PCX 5750
    


Screen Shots Of Doom 3 taken with the ASUS Extreme AX600XT
    

As you can see, both cards were capable of rendering a decent image, but whether the game was playable remains to be seen later in the benchmarking segment.  Overall, each card offered very similar quality.  We'd have to say the screen captures taken using the ASUS card appear slightly brighter by default, but it's nothing a simple tweak to the brightness slider couldn't balace out.


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