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
Drivers: Catalyst 8.10 and Catalyst 8.11
Since the Cat drivers did come out a little earlier than expected, the drivers will be tested on the same cards and the same system as last time. Come next month, though, our new i7 test beds will be up and running. So prepare for some major changes on both the hardware and software front.
While we don't test any of the games where a performance increase is promised, let's hope that the increase is seen in some other games that we do test.
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.
Off the bat we can see there isn't much difference between the two sets of drivers. Let's now check something a bit more intensive out.