Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Kingston PC6400 DDR-2 3-3-3-10 (KHX6400D2ULK2/2G) (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA-2 7200.10 (Supplied by Seagate)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1
Drivers: Catalyst 8.3, Forceware 174.53, Forceware 201.77
Since the driver supports both current 3000 series Radeon offerings and the 9 series cards from NVIDIA, it seemed fair that they are what we should be comparing. We've got with us the HD 3870, HD 3870 X2, 9600GT, 9800GTX and 9800GX2.
The driver of course only supports Vista, so we will be using the one operating system in our testing today. Since NVIDIA wants to charge an annual fee, this driver better offer us something good. Let's just get stuck straight into it and see what we have here.
We'll also be using our standard driver tests today which include everything from Synthetic to Real World and OpenGL to Direct X 10.
Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.
3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.
Across the board we can see some serious gains! - We can see the 9800GX2 brings massive gains, getting a default 3DMark score of almost 29k. We can see the GTX is doing just over 25k and the X2 is able to see some big gains giving us 22k.