Sapphire Radeon HD Triple-Shot: 2600Pro OC, 2600XT and 2400XT

Article Index

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark06 v1.1.0

The HotHardware Test Systems
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Powered

Hardware Used:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+

(NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI for AMD)

2x2GB OCZ PC-6400

Sapphire HD 2600XT - 256MB GDDR4
Sapphire HD 2600 Pro OC - 256MB GDDR3
Sapphire HD 2400 XT - 256MB GDDR3

MSI NX8600GT-T2D256H

On-board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD 74GB "Raptor" DD
10,000 RPM SATA

Relevant Software:
Windows XP Professional SP2
DirectX 9.0c (August Redist.)
nForce Drivers v9.35

NVIDIA Forceware v162
ATI Catalyst v7.8

Benchmarks Used:

3DMark06 v1.1.0
F.E.A.R. v1.08
Half Life 2: Lost Coast

Quake 4 v1.3
Prey v1.2

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark06 v1.1.0


3DMark06 is the latest addition to the 3DMark franchise. This version differs from 3Dmark05 in a number of ways, and now includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased as well. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups the number of instructions to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting, and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.


In overall performance, the fastest of the three Sapphire cards, the HD 2600XT, landed between the Geforce 8600GTS and and 8600GT.  The HD 2600Pro OC trailed the Geforce 8600GT by almost 400 points while the HD 2400XT trailed the GeForce 8500GT model by a small margin.


When we break the results down to look at Shader Model 2.0 performance, the results were all in favor of the NVIDIA based GeForce 8600GTS, 8600GT and 8500GT.  Each of the ATI card trailed significantly with respect to the two HD 2600 models, while the HD 2400XT fell 135 points to the GeForce 8500GT.


Switching over to Shader Model 3 performance, the ATI cards gained heavily compared to the SM2 test, posting leading scores with all three cards when compared to their closest competitors.  The margins may not be as broad as the SM2 test, but we still saw 105 point lead with the HD 2600XT vs the GeForce 8600GTS while the HD 2600Pro OC topped the GeForce 8600GT by 140 points.  The smallest margins were measured with the HD 2400XT, which lead the GeForce 8500GT by 86 points.

Related content