Sapphire Radeon X800 XT - PCI Express

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Test System, 3DMark05 & Final Fantasy XI

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the Sapphire Radeon X800 XT PCIe on a DFI 925X-T2 925X chipset-based motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz 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. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP2 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the Intel chipset drivers, installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating, System Restore, and Drive Indexing were then disabled, the hard drive was defragmented, and a 768MB permanent page file was created on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed the benchmarking software, and ran all of the tests.

The HotHardware Test System
Intel Powered Screamer
Hardware:
Processor -

Motherboard -


Video Cards -




Memory -


Audio -

Hard Drive -


Optical Drive -

Other -

Software:
Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers
-

Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz

DFI 925X-T2 Motherboard
i925X Chipset

Sapphire X800 XT

ATI Radeon X800 XT
GeForce 6800 GT
ATI Radeon X800 XT

1024MB Kingston HyperX PC3500
CAS 2

Integrated Hi-Def Azalia Audio

Western Digital "Raptor"
36GB - 10,000RPM - SATA

Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM

3.5" Floppy Drive


Windows XP Professional SP2 (Fully Patched)
Intel INF v6.0.1.1002
DirectX 9.0c

ATI Catalyst v4.10
NVIDIA Forceware v66.81
Performance Comparisons With 3DMark05
Futuremark's Latest - The Jury is Still Out...


3DMark05
3DMark05 is the latest installment in a long line of synthetic 3D graphics benchmarks, dating back to late 1998.  3DMark99 came out in October 1998, and was followed by the very popular DirectX 7 benchmark, 3DMark2000, roughly two years later.  The DirectX 8.1 compliant 3DMark2001 was released shortly thereafter, and it too was a very popular tool used by many hardcore gamers.  3DMark03, however, wasn't quite as well received thanks in no small part to the disapproval of graphics giant NVIDIA.  With 3DMark05 though, Futuremark hopes to win back some of their audience, with a very advanced DirectX 9 benchmarking tool.  We ran 3DMark05's default test (1024x768) on all of the cards we tested and have the overall results for you posted below...

3DMark05's default tests placed the ATi Radeon X800 XT in the lead over the 6800 GT by about 300 points; 11 points ahead of the Sapphire X800 XT.  Unfortunately, we did not have access to a PCI Express GeForce 6800 Ultra to have parity in the NVIDIA vs. ATi comparison, so we had to make due with a 6800 GT.  Keep that in mind as you read through the rest of our benchmarks.  A PCI Express GeForce 6800 Ultra would surely have scored higher than the 6800 GT in every test.

Performance Comparisons With Final Fantasy XI Benchmark 2 v1.01
A Classic Console Franchise On The PC

Final Fantasy XI
The Final Fantasy franchise is well known to console gamers, but Squaresoft has since made the jump to the PC with a MMORPG version of this classic. The Final Fantasy XI benchmark runs through multiple scenes from the game and displays a final score every time a full cycle of the demo is completed. Although the demo is meant to check an entire system's readiness to play the game, the number of frames rendered scales when different video cards are used. Lower scores indicate some frames were dropped to complete the demo in the allotted time. The scores below were taken with the demo set to its "High Resolution" option (1024x768) with anti-aliasing disabled.

In the "light duty" Final Fantasy XI benchmark, all three of the ATi powered cards we tested pull ahead of the 6800 GT, even the relatively inexpensive X700 XT.  This test runs at a moderate resolution of 1024x768, with no anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering though, so it's not taxing any of these card very much.  This breakdown may be a result of a CPU limitation, rather than graphics performance.


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