Performance Comparisons with 3DMark
It should come as no shock
that we are big gamers around here, and were
interested in seeing the 3D performance, both in synthetic
tests, and in real-world scenarios. For the first round
tests, we chose MadOnion's 3DMark 2001 SE. It
generates a score after rendering scenes and measuring
performance using the MaxFX game engine, found in Remedy's
popular game Max Payne. We ran
two series of tests, one at 800x600 with 32-bit color and
again at 1024x768x32, both times with all other program
settings left at their defaults.
These were some great scores;
obviously pairing an i845PE board with a GeForce 4 card is
going to equate to some great gaming experiences. The
Gigabyte 8PE667 put up the top scores, breaking 14,000 at
stock speed, and 16,000 when overclocked. The Abit
BE7 followed next, roughly 300 points behind, or about 3%.
Bringing up the rear was the MSI 845PE Max2, 550 points
behind the Gigabyte board, which equated to just over a 4%
The differences we saw at
1024x768 were much less than what we saw at 800x600, at
least at default FSB frequencies. All three boards came within
160 points of each other. The Gigabyte board put up
the top numbers again. Overclocking the three boards
seemed to have the effect of doubling the differences
between the scores.
Performance Comparisons with Comanche
gaming for you grunts
Another popular DirectX
benchmarking program is Novalogic's Comanche 4 Demo. Since
this benchmark is more CPU dependant than other games, we
can get a good feel for the overall system performance by
comparing the benchmarked results.
The differences here were
slight, and would not even be noticed during normal
game play. What we saw here was only a 1 frame per
second difference between the lowest score (MSI) and the
highest score (Gigabyte) at normal speed, and 3 FPS after
overclocking the boards. The benefits of reaching a
relatively high overclock are shown here, as we got an
increase around 15-20% in performance.
Performance Comparisons with Quake 3
Next, we used Quake 3's built
in Timedemo with the display
settings set to their minimums at a screen resolution of
640x480x16 for the Low Quality graphs and then chose
1024x768 with 32-bit color for the High Quality tests.
By using these minimal settings, the impact the
video card has on the performance of the game is reduced.
With the display settings calibrated in this manner, the
ability of the game to tax the video card is virtually
eliminated, allowing the benchmark to focus almost solely
on CPU and memory performance.
At the lowest settings, the
MSI board pumped out close to 320 frames per second.
The Abit board came in second with almost 325FPS, 5 frames
more than the MSI. The Gigabyte board came out on
top at 332FPS. At 168MHz, the Gigabyte 8PE667 board
produced the highest score we had seen to date for Quake
3, just missing 400 frames per second!
The scores were closer between
the Abit and Gigabyte board in this round of testing, but
the MSI board got left behind. Overclocking the
boards resulted in a 10% increase in gaming performance
across the board (no pun intended).
Time for the