Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Motherboard(s): ASUS Blitz Extreme (Supplied by ASUS)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Corsair XMS3 DDR-3 1066MHz 7-7-7-21 (Supplied by Corsair)
Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA-2
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista
Drivers: Catalyst 7.11, Forceware 169.06 (8800GTS 512MB)
With a pretty good idea of what an 8800GTS 512MB is going to set you back (providing stock levels aren't a problem), for similar money you're able to find yourself with a pair of Radeon HD 3850s. Not only this, but you can grab a pair of pre-overclocked GECUBE variants with an even better than standard cooler on them.
The GECUBE X-TURBO III ATI Radeon HD 3850 manages not only to pack some extra speed, but also get an upgrade from 256MB of DDR3 to 512MB; this to match the G92 based 8800GTS. Looking at clockspeeds, the GECUBE offerings come in with a core clock of 725MHz and 1800MHz DDR on the memory. The 8800GTS 512MB on the other hand packs a default clock speed of 650MHz with a 1650MHz shader clock to boot. It also runs with a relatively high 1940MHz DDR memory clock.
Across our normal line up of real world and synthetic benchmarks we will see how a two card Crossfire setup competes against the soon to be released 8800GTS 512MB. Where is your money best spent? Since we already have the 8800GTS' overclocked results in hand from a previous article, we thought we may as well throw them into the mix as well and see what comes out in the wash.
Version and / or Patch Used: Build 130
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.
Straight away we can see the Crossfire setup takes a pretty good lead. We see it doesn't take as big a hit at the higher resolution as the single 8800GTS 512MB.
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