All right... let's find out what this little gem can do now, shall we? We know what we can expect to find in the box, we know what features that it supports, all that's left is to see some hard numbers to compare against. But first, let's take a look at what kind of system it will be running on.
AMD Thunderbird 1000 @ 1333MHz
256MB Crucial PC-133 CAS2 SDRAM
IBM 60GXP 40GB Hard Drive
Hitachi CM814 21" Monitor
VIA 4-in-1 drivers v4.34
nVidia Detonator v12.90
I used the nVidia 12.90 Det3 drivers because the test system has a problem with the 21.xx series drivers. I've been playing with some setups, and it looks like it may be a conflict between the drivers and the KT133A chipset of my motherboard. So to remain fair for the testing, all tests on all cards were performed using the 12.90's
- Default settings
- All tests run
- Default settings
- All tests run
Quake III Arena
- v1.11 with Demo001
Quake III Arena testing was done with these settings:
- GL Extensions: On
- Full Screen: On
- Lighting: Lightmap
- Geometric Detail: Slider bar set to MAX
- Texture Quality: 32 bit
- Texture Filter: Tri-Linear
- All "Eye Candy" enabled
So far so good. Granted, 3dMark2000 is an older benchmarking utility, but it can still show us where the card is strong or weak. From what we can see, there aren't too many weaknesses to be seen. So let's take the testing up a level and see what happens...
The GeForce3 core is beginning to show now. Under the much more graphically intense testing of 3dMark2001, we're seeing that it still whoops the older GeForce2 chipset to pieces. The nearly 2100 point rise in score is strictly due to the newer GPU architecture. And since it is based on the GeForce3 core, it can still run all of the tests included in this utility. Granted, a test suite isn't a reason to spend money on a new video card, but just the fact that it runs all tests lets us know that it is capable of meeting the future demands of game makers.
- Quake III Arena
I still see some close test scores at the lower resolutions to the older GeForce2 chipset, but how many of us really play at that screen size? I know that a MINIMUM resolution for my fragfests is 1024 x 768, and I normally go a bit higher.
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