Sapphire Ultimate X1600 Pro and X1600 XT

Article Index

Test System and 3DMark06


HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested our cards on an DFI LanParty UT CFX3200-DR chipset based motherboard, powered by an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (Venice Core) processor and 1GB of low-latency Mushkin Redline RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the BIOS and load the "High Performance Defaults."  The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP2 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the latest chipset drivers available, installed all of the other necessary drivers for the rest of our components, and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also 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 all of the benchmarking software, and ran the tests. We tested at the two most popular resolutions according to a recent poll of our readers, using a mid-range gaming system.

The HotHardware Test System
AMD Athlon 64 FX Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Cards -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Driv
e -


Hardware Used:
AMD Athlon 3200+ (2GHz, Venice Core)

DFI LanParty UT CFX3200-DR

CrossFire X3200 Chipset

Sapphire X1600 XT
Sapphire X1600 Pro
GeForce 6600 GT 256MB

1024MB Mushkin PC3200 RAM

Integrated on board

Western Digital "Caviar"

80GB - ATA 100

Operating System -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Synthetic (DX) -
DirectX -

DirectX -
DirectX -
OpenGL -

OpenGL -
Relevant Software:
Windows XP Professional SP2
DirectX 9.0c

ATI Catalyst 6.6

Nvidia Forceware 91.31

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark06 v1.0.2
FarCry v1.33
Half Life 2*
Quake 4*

* - Custom Test (HH Exclusive demo)

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark06 v1.0.2

Futuremark recently launched a brand-new version of their popular benchmark, 3DMark06. The new version of the benchmark is updated 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.

3DMark06 provides us with an overall performance score based on the results from a few different tests, but also provides individual Shader Model 2.0 and 3.0 performance numbers. Both X1600 cards seem to fare well in this benchmark, with the X1600 XT on top in all categories.

Tags:  Sapphire, App, mat, x1, ultimate, x16, SAP, XT, pro, TIM, ULT, Ultima, IM, AP, and

Related content