X1950 / X1900 3DMark06 Performance
** Important Note About Our Benchmarks: Due to inherent limitations in DirectX 9 a dual-GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad-SLI rig won't always perform better than a standard SLI GeForce 7900 GTX setup. DirectX 9 doesn't support queuing of enough back-buffers to effectively support high-performance 4-way AFR mode in D3D applications. This fact, combined with the GeForce 7950 GX2 GPUs and on-board memory being clocked lower than those of a GeForce 7900 GTX, along with Quad-SLI's increased overhead, means Quad-SLI could actually be slower than 7900 GTX SLI in some configurations. Quad-SLI will default to "AFR of SFR" mode for many Direct3D applications. And while this mode works well for some D3D apps, it is less effective with others. With OpenGL applications, however, 4-way AFR works properly and performance scales as expected.
|Futuremark recently launched a brand-new version of their popular benchmark, 3DMark06. The new version of the benchmark is updated in a number of ways, and now includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased as well. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups the number of instructions to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting, and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.|
In an effort to make our graphs a little easier to digest, we've highlighted the cards being introduced today in gold and separated the single-card configurations from the multi-card configurations. As you can see, in the single-card tests, the new Radeon X1950 XTX is eclipsed only by NVIDIA's dual-GPU GeForce 7950 GX2. And the 256MB Radeon X1900 XT is significantly faster than the GeForce 7900 GT. Looking at the multi-card results, however, ATI's CrossFire X1950 and X1900 configurations are at the top of the heap - at least as far as 3DMark06 is concerned.
If we focus on the Shader Model 2.0 results, the breakdown is similar, but in this test the GeForce 7900 GTX SLI rig posts the highest score. We use the term "highest" loosely here, however, as the 7900 GTX SLI configuration's "leads" the X9150 XTX CrossFire configuration by only 1 point.
The results from 3DMark06's HDR / Shader Model 3.0 tests look much like the overall results above. In the single-card tests, nothing touches the X1950 or 7950 GX2, and in the multi-GPU tests, ATI's high-end CrossFire rigs finish in first and second place. NVIDIA's Quad-SLI doesn't scale very well in this synthetic DirectX benchmark, however. The results from our in-game tests don't necessarily jibe with these as you'll see on the ages ahead.