HH Test Rig and Aquamark 3 Benchmark
HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM:
We tested the Diamond Stealth S100, and the Diamond Stealth S110, on an i865G based Intel D865GBF motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 3.0CGHz CPU. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "High Performance Defaults". Then we set the memory to operate at 200MHz (in dual-channel mode), with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set by the SPD, and then we set the AGP aperture size to 256MB. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP1 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the Intel chipset drivers and hit the Windows Update site to download and install all of the available updates. Then we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and removed Windows Messenger from the system altogether. Auto-Updating, System Restore, and Drive Indexing were then disabled, the hard drive was de-fragmented and a 768MB permanent page file was created. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance", installed the benchmarking software and ran all of the tests. Throughout our testing, ATi's drivers were configured for maximum visual quality. Their respective "Fastest" or "Performance" modes were not used.
Intel Pentium 4 3.0CGHz
Diamond Stealth S100
Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
Video Drivers -
Windows XP Professional SP1 (Fully Patched)
Intel INF v5.0.1006.0
ATI Catalyst v4.4
|Aquamark 3 comes to us by way of Massive Development. Massive's release of the original Aquanox in 1999 wasn't very well received by the gaming community, but it was one of the first games to implement DX8 class shaders, which led to the creation of Aquamark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Since the Aquamark benchmarks are based on an actual game engine, they must support old and new video cards alike. Thus, the latest version of Aquamark, Aquamark 3, utilizes not only DirectX 9 class shaders, but DirectX 8 and DirectX 7 as well. We ran this benchmark at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1280x1204 with no anti-aliasing, and again with 2X AA enabled.|
This Benchmark is heavily weighted on the Fill Rate and Shader efficiency of the card's VPU. Though the results are low, one can clearly see a trend in the scores. The S100 (9600SE) clearly controls the table in this benchmark by an average of 30%. Though this test resulted in some impressive slideshows, it does display the limitations of each card respectively.