ATi Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition

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Our Test System, 3DMark05 & Final Fantasy XI

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the ATi Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition on a DFI LANPARTY 925X-T2 Intel i925X chipset-based motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz CPU. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "High Performance Defaults."  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, 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 all of the benchmarking software, and ran the tests.

The HotHardware Test System
Intel-Powered Screamer
Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Cards -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Drive -

Optical Drive -

Other -

Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz

DFI LANPARTY 925X-T2 Motherboard
i925X Chipset

ATI Radeon X850 XT PE

ATi Radeon X800 XT PE
ATi Radeon X800 XT
GeForce 6800 Ultra
GeForce 6800 GT

1024MB Kingston HyperX PC5400

Integrated Intel Azalia Hi-Def 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 v6.0.1.1008
DirectX 9.0c

ATI Catalyst v4.12 (Beta)
NVIDIA Forceware v67.02
Performance Comparisons With 3DMark05
Futuremark's Latest - The Jury is Still Out...

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 disapproval of graphics giant NVIDIA.  With 3DMark05, though, Futuremark hopes to win back some of its audience with a very advanced DirectX 9 benchmarking tool.  We ran 3DMark05's default test (1,024 x 768) on all of the cards we tested and have the overall results for you posted below...

The Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition scored its first victory in the default 3DMark05 benchmark.  The X850 XT PE finished the test 152 points ahead of the X800 XT PE (2.7% lead) and a full 721 points ahead of the GeForce 6800 Ultra (14.2% lead).  As gorgeous as the graphics are in 3DMark05, though, they doesn't represent performance of any actual games.  So, without blathering on about these results, let's move onto some actual game-related tests...

Performance Comparisons With Final Fantasy XI Benchmark 2 v1.01
A Classic Console Franchise On The PC

Final Fantasy XI
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 (1,024 x 768) with antialiasing disabled.

Even though this is a rather "lite-duty" benchmark that runs at the relatively low resolution of 1,024 x 768 with no antialiasing, the Final Fantasy XI benchmark scaled according to each card's respective peak fillrate.  The X850 XT Platinum Edition topped the chart, followed by the pair of X800s.  The GeForce 6800 Ultra and GT trailed behind all of the ATi powered cards.  With its score of 6614 frames, the X850 XT PE outran the X800 XT PE by about 1%, and it beat the GeForce 6800 Ultra by approximately 8.5%.

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