||The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows. 3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though. With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware. We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Performance preset option, which uses a resolution of 1280 x 1024.|
Both NVIDIA and ATI find their latest generation of cards handling the Vista-only 3DMark Vantage much better than previous ones. Unfortunately for ECS, the 9800 GTX+ falls in with the latter, and while it does take the lead amongst the 88xx/98xx cards as well as the HD 38xx series, its performance was far off that of the HD 4800 series of cards as well as the GTX 260. On the bright side, this is the Hydra were talking about here, so its assumed that you'll be running two 9800 GTX+ cards in tandem. In doing so, the results were greater than a 50% increase over original scores, just nipping the GTX 260 for the overall lead.
The individual GPU tests don't really tell us anything new about the performance of our cards that the overall score didn't. From bottom to top, we've got the Radeon HD 3800 series, followed by a close grouping of 8800 and 9800 cards. Out of this stack, the 9800 GTX+ reigns supreme, but doesn't make much of a dent against the HD 48xx cards, nor the GTX 260. Once we got to the SLI testing, we saw some dramatic increases in the frame rates - pretty much double the original scores.