Prolink Pixelview 5900XT Golden Limited

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The Test System, AQ3 & Halo

HotHardware's Testing Setup
Where it all begins

We tested the Prolink Pixelview 5900XT GL and its competitors on an i865PE "Springdale" based Asus P4P800 Deluxe motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 2.4CGHz CPU (800MHz System Bus).  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 (Dual DDR400) with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set by SPD and the AGP aperture size set to 256MB. The hard drive was then formatted and Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 was installed.  After the installation completed, we installed the latest Intel chipset drivers and then hit the Windows Update site to download and install all of the available updates. Next, we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and Windows Messenger was disabled and removed from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also 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 all of the benchmarking software and ran all of the tests.

Video Cards Tested:

Prolink Pixelview 5900XT GL (128MB)
e-VGA GeForce FX 5900XT (128MB)
Chaintech GFFX 5700 Ultra (128MB)
ATi Radeon 9600XT (128MB)

Benchmarks Used:

Halo v1.031
Unreal Tournament 2004
Splinter Cell - Oil Rig Demo
Final Fantasy XI v2.0
Far Cry
Comanche 4 Demo
Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory

Common System Hardware:

Asus P4P800 Deluxe (i865PE) Motherboard
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU / 800MHz FSB
512MB (256MB x2) Kingston HyperX PC3500 DDR
Western Digital 20GB Hard Drive
Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM


Software / System Drivers:

Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1
DirectX 9.0b
Intel Chipset Software, v5.1.1.1002
ATi Catalyst Drivers, v4.6
NVIDIA ForceWare Drivers, v61.34

Performance Comparisons With Aquamark 3
DX8 and DX9 Shaders

Aquamark 3
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 1600x1200 with no anti-aliasing and again with 4XAA enabled.

One of the main things we noticed right from the start was that the Prolink Pixelview 5900XT and the e-VGA 5900XT put up nearly identical numbers in this and all of the other benchmarks. Of course, this is to be expected, since nothing has changed with Prolink's version; the GPU and memory speeds are the same, and the amount of RAM remains equal as well. This also means we will be seeing the Pixelview 5900XT at the top of the charts for the most part. Based on the same core as the flagship 5950 Ultra, it's hard to beat this kind of performance on a budget.

Benchmarks With Halo
Halo - All Patched & Ready To Go!

For many gamers, the release of Halo marked the end of a long wait, since it was originally released as an Xbox exclusive a few years back. No additional patches or tweaks are needed to benchmark with Halo, as Gearbox has included all of the necessary information in their README file. The Halo benchmark runs through four of the cut-scenes from the game, after which the average frame rate is recorded. We patched the game using the latest v1.031 patch and ran this benchmark twice, once at 1024x768 and then again at 1280x1024. Anti-aliasing doesn't work properly with Halo at the moment, so all of the test below were run with anti-aliasing disabled.

The two 5900XTs flip-flopped each other in this benchmark, with the Prolink model taking the slight lead at 1024x768, and then giving it right back to e-VGA's entry at 1280x1024. The difference in each benchmark was a less than a single frame, so there's really no major difference between the two. Compared to the 5700 Ultra and 9600XT, however, we're looking at about a 25% improvement in performance.

Tags:  ink, gold, link, mit, view, XT, pixel, pro, Pi, IE, TED, IM, K

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