ATI X1000 Graphics Family

Article Index

Test System & X1300 w/ 3DMark05 & Halo

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We put together two different test systems for this article.  We tested our NVIDIA based cards on a Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI nForce 4 SLI chipset based motherboard, powered by an AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 processor and 1GB of low-latency Corsair XMS RAM. However, the ATI based cards were tested on an ATI reference Radeon Xpress 200 motherboard, with the same processor and RAM. The first thing we did when configuring these test systems was enter each BIOS and load 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 latest chipset drivers available, installed all of the other necessary drivers for the rest of our components, and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also 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
AMD Athlon 64 FX Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Cards -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Driv
e -


Hardware Used:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 (2.6GHz)

Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI
nForce4 SLI chipset

ATI Reference CrossFire MB
ATI Radeon Xpress 200 CF Edition

ATI Radeon X1800 XT

ATI Radeon X1800 XL
ATI Radeon X1600 XT
ATI Radeon X1300 Pro
ATI Radeon X850XT (x2)
ATI Radeon X800 XL (512MB)
GeForce 7800 GTX (x2)
GeForce 7800 GT
GeForce 6800 Ultra (x2)
GeForce 6800 GT
GeForce 6600 GT
GeForce 6200 TC 32/128

1024MB Corsair XMS PC3200 RAM

Integrated on board

Western Digital "Raptor"

36GB - 10,000RPM - SATA

Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Synthetic (DX) -
Synthetic (DX) -
DirectX -
DirectX -

DirectX -
DirectX -
OpenGL -
OpenGL -
Relevant Software:
Windows XP Professional SP2 (Patched)
nForce Drivers v6.82
DirectX 9.0c

NVIDIA Forceware v81.82

ATI Catalyst v5.9/v5.10 beta

Benchmarks Used:
ShaderMark v2.1
3DMark05 v1.2.0
Halo v1.06
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory v1.04
FarCry v1.33*
Half Life 2*
Doom 3 v1.3 (Single & Multi-Player)*
Chronicles of Riddick v1.1*

* - Custom Test (HH Exclusive demo)

Please note, we have broken up the testing into two sections for this article. On this page and the next, we're going to focus on the performance of the new Radeon X1300 Pro and Radeon X1600 XT, versus a few GeForce 6 cards. The entry-level 4-pipe Radeon X1300 Pro is simply not testable in some of the more taxing configurations that we use to compare high-end graphics cards, making a top-to-bottom, apples-to-apples comparison between various cards nearly impossible. So, to keep our data relatively uncluttered, we dedicated a separate section to the X1300 Pro...

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark05 v1.2.0

3DMark05 is the latest installment in a long line of synthetic 3D graphics benchmarks, dating back to late 1998. 3DMark2005 is a synthetic benchmark that requires a DirectX 9.0 compliant video card, with support for Pixel Shaders 2.0 or higher, to render all of the various modules that comprise the suite. To generate its final "score", 3DMark05 runs three different simulated game tests and uses each test's framerate in the final tabulation. Fillrate, Memory bandwidth, and compute performance especially all have a measurable impact on performance in this benchmark. We ran 3DMark05's default test (1,024 x 768) on all of the cards and configurations we tested, and have the overall results posted for you below.

Futuremark's synthetic DirectX 9.0 benchmark puts the Radeon X1300 Pro's performance somewhere in between a GeForce 6600 GT and a GeForce 6200 32/128 TurboCache card. The GeForce 6600 GT scored a full 775 points higher than the X1300 Pro, even though it had a smaller frame buffer and is clocked significantly lower. The X1600 XT pulls out a marginal victory here, just barely edging out a GeForce 6800 GT.

Performance Comparisons with Halo v1.06

No additional patches or tweaks are necessary to benchmark with Halo, as Gearbox has included all of the necessary information to test with this game within its Readme file. This benchmark works by running through four of the long cut-scenes within the game, after which the average frame rate is recorded. Halo was one of the first games to have a PS 2.0 code path, and even though its graphics are no longer considered cutting edge, compute performance and fillrate still affect overall performance in this test. We updated Halo using the most recent v1.06 patch and ran this benchmark at a resolution of 1,280 x 1,024. Anti-aliasing doesn't work properly with Halo, so all of the tests below were run with AA disabled.

The new Radeon X1300 Pro's performance in Halo was adequate, but significantly lower than a GeForce 6600 GT's. The X1300 Pro was roughly twice as fast as a GeForce 6200 32/128 TurboCache card, but the GeForce 6600 GT was about 80% faster than the X1300 Pro. And in stark contrast to what 3DMark05 says, the GeForce 6800 GT pulled way ahead of the Radeon X1600 XT, by a margin of almost 20 frames per second.

Tags:  ATI, graphics, x1, Graphic, family, x100, ICS, AP, x1000, AM

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