3DMark03 might be a
controversial piece of software when you're comparing
graphics cards from different vendors, but when you
standardize with a single RADEON 9800 XT, the synthetic
gaming benchmark suddenly becomes useful for comparing
platforms. The new 340 patch reportedly eliminates special optimizations. However, for
this sort of evaluation, we're more concerned about the
change in performance between platforms, not the drop in a
graphics card's score.
Even at 1024x768, the standard
resolution 3DMark03 uses to garner its averages, 3D
graphics is emphasized ahead of any other system
component. Perhaps that's why there is very little
variation in that first score, the overall benchmark
result. The second set of numbers is a bit more
telling, as 865PE takes a surprise first-place finish,
875P grasps second, and VIA's PT880 falls into third
place. Once again, the scores fall within three
percent of a each other, making it hard to declare an
overall performance victor.
Simulated Gaming Performance
AquaMark 3 is a newcomer to
the benchmarking scene. Its value hasn't yet been
thoroughly explored, though it does seem to be an
effective gauge of 3D performance. And
interestingly, it appears to favor the Intel platforms.
In fact, we see the largest performance gap yet in the CPU
benchmark, where ABIT's AI7 motherboard beats VIA's
PT880 by nearly six percent. It isn't significant enough
to warrant caution, but it's enough to put the VIA
flagship in third place once again.
SPEC, Quake III, and