Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3150MHz (350MHz FSB 1:1)
Motherboard(s): ASUS P5B Deluxe (Supplied by ASUS)
Memory: 2 X 1GB G.Skill HZ PC8000 @ 350MHz 4-4-4-12 (Supplied by Bronet)
Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA 2
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.11, nVidia ForceWare 93.71 and DX9c
Out of the box the CE comes clocked at the default X1950PRO speeds (575/1380). Since it was simply pointless to bench the card at the default at reference clock speeds, we went into the Catalyst Control Center and started overclocking.
Maxing the tabs out at 681/1600 we thought we should be good to go - this is what GeCube say, they actually say 681+ but we're not quite sure how you go further since 681MHz is the maximum core clock speed in CCC, ATI Tool and others. After a few seconds into 3DMark, we had a hard freeze - this tells us that the core is having issues as memory being too high would normally result in artifacts. Bringing down the core clock speed and testing till we got a stable result, we achieved a maximum core clock speed of 662MHz (and the claimed 1600MHz DDR on the memory) and while this is a fantastic overclock for a X1950PRO, it's not the 681+ that GeCube say we can achieve.
We were told by GeCube that the CE sample sent to us was an early revision and overclocking should improve on the latest shipping versions but we have no way to prove that. We were also told that while the package claims core clock speeds of over 681MHz that actually means what the core itself is capable of reaching. GeCube program the BIOS for a maximum speed of 681MHz but if you managed to unlock the BIOS, you could in theory reach a higher clock speed.
We'll be testing the GeCube Champion Edition at overclocked speeds of 662/1600 as you'd be crazy to spend the extra dollars on this card and not OC. We have included the Gigabyte Radeon X1950PRO with 256MB of memory at stock speeds along with the ASUS GeForce 7950GT with 512MB of memory.
Let's find out what the card is capable of!
Version and / or Patch Used: Build 120
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark05/
3DMark05 is now the second latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and above.
For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.
In our first test we saw the X1950PRO being consistently faster than the nVidia counterpart but when we throw the overclocked GeCube X1950PRO into the mix, the lead becomes a whole lot bigger.