Test Setup, 3DMark 05 and Final Fantasy
HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the Asus Extreme AX800XL on our current test bed consisting of a Shuttle SB95P (i925XE) fueled by a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 550 and 1GB of Corsair XMS2 Pro DDR2 memory. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "Optimal Performance Settings." We left the memory timings set by SPD (4-4-4-12), and set the AGP aperture size to 256MB. The Seagate Barracuda hard drive was formatted, and Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the latest Intel chipset drivers. 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 disabled, the hard drive was defragmented, and a 1536 MB 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.
Graphics Cards -
Optical Drive -
Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
Video Drivers -
Asus Extreme AX800XL
ATI Radeon X800XL
MSI GeForce NX6800GT
1GB (512MBx2) Corsair XMS2 Pro DDR2
Integrated 8-Channel Audio
120GB - 7,200RPM - SATA
Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM
3.5" Floppy Drive
Windows XP Professional SP2 (Fully Patched)
Intel INF v22.214.171.1247
ATI Catalyst v5.4
NVIDIA Forceware v71.89
|3DMark05 is the latest installment in a long line of synthetic 3D graphics benchmarks, dating back to late 1998. 3DMark99 came out in October 1998, and was followed by the very popular DirectX 7 benchmark, 3DMark2000, roughly two years later. The DirectX 8.1 compliant 3DMark2001 was released shortly thereafter, and it too was a very popular tool used by many hardcore gamers. 3DMark03, however, wasn't quite as well received thanks in no small part to the dissapproval of graphics giant NVIDIA. With 3DMark05 though, Futuremark hopes to win back some of their audience, with a very advanced DirectX 9 benchmarking tool. We ran 3DMark05's default test (1024x768) on all of the cards we tested and have the overall results for you posted below...|
Although the differences in VPU and memory speeds were slight, the standard ATi Radeon X800XL bettered the Asus X800XL by over 200 points. The margin of difference was close to 4%, much higher than we really would have expected. Performance levels were just about on par with the GeForce 6800GT.
|The Final Fantasy franchise is well known to console gamers, but Squaresoft has since made the jump to the PC with a MMORPG version of this classic. The Final Fantasy XI benchmark runs through multiple scenes from the game and displays a final score every time a full cycle of the demo is completed. Although the demo is meant to check an entire system's readiness to play the game, the number of frames rendered scales when different video cards are used. Lower scores indicate some frames were dropped to complete the demo in the allotted time. The scores below were taken with the demo set to its "High Resolution" option (1024x768) with anti-aliasing disabled.|
With the Final Fantasy Benchmark, the 6800GT placed a distant last to the two X800XLs. Again, the Asus AX800XL falls a bit behind ATi's version of the card, although this time the difference only amounted to under 2 percent. As you will see, this will be a common trend from here on: the lower speeds hamper the AX800XL's results thoughout our testing suite.