Chaintech Apogee AA5700U

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Chaintech Apogee AA5700U
Redefining the meaning of mainstream

By Robert Maloney
March 15th, 2004

Performance Comparisons With Novalogic's Comanche 4
The Performance Battlefield

We used Novalogic's combat helicopter simulator Comanche 4 for our next batch of DirectX tests.  This benchmark uses DX8 class pixel and vertex shaders to produce some of the realistic visuals used throughout the demo.  Unlike the previous tests, this benchmark is heavily influenced by CPU and system memory performance, especially at lower resolutions.  However, when the resolution is raised and AA and Anisotropic filtering are enabled, the current crop of video cards tend to slow down quite a bit

At 1024x768, it seems that each card is very capable when handling the DirectX8 class graphics of Comanche 4.  Since Comanche is quite CPU-limited, we're probably reaching the maximum frame rate that the system can produce out before applying AA.  The 9600XT started out in the lead with 50.13 fps, but applying 4XAA dropped it behind the 5900XT.  Chaintech's AA5700U was a close third at 44.66, only a frame less than the 9600XT.  Anisotropic filtering was the great divider here, affecting the 9600 XT much more than the GeForce FX cards.  We saw a similar decline with the 9600XT at 1600x1200, nearly crippling its output, although the AA5700U was also slowed down a bit.  Applying 4 samples of anti-aliasing cost the AA5700U close to 14 frames, in effect losing about a third of its performance.

Benchmarking With Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
New Game, Better Effects, Old Engine

We also ran through a batch of timedemos with the OpenGL game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.  Wolfenstein: ET is a free, standalone multiplayer game that is based on the original Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which was released a few years back. It uses a modified Quake3 core yet exhibits plenty of CPU scaling and platform variation, which also makes it a good benchmarking tool.  We created a custom demo and used the built-in timedemo feature to check each card's frame rate.  The tests below were run at 1024x768 and 1600x1200, with out anti-aliasing, once with 4X AA, and then again with 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering.

Our last benchmark was won, more or less, by the 5900XT and 5700 Ultra based cards.   The 5900XT took a commanding lead, but the AA5700U was no slouch either, hitting over 90 fps at 1024x768.  It outperformed the 9600XT by just over 16%, and maintained a healthy lead at 4XAA and 4XAA+AF as well.  While the 1600x1200 benchmarks started off in the same fashion, the AA5700U and 9600XT flip-flopped when enabling the driver optimizations.  ATi's implementation of AA and Anisotropic Filtering was simply better at the higher resolution, as the 9600XT took much smaller performance hits than that seen with the 5700 Ultra or 5900XT.

Overclocking & The Conclusion  

Tags:  Tech, Apogee, 5700, chaintech, AA, 570, A5, AP, AI, A57

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