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Sapphire Radeon X800 XT Graphics Card Review

By: Mike Wright | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 14, 2004 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Sapphire Technologies



When we look at Futuremark benchmarking utilities, we have several to choose from. I used several of them since they are freely available on the Net and can easily be run with most current system specifications. Tests will be run at normal default settings unless otherwise noted. AA/AF will be turned off in the video display properties so they won't be a factor in this series of tests.


For the sake of clarification, I use the formal company name of MadOnion for the first test since that is what they were still called when they created the 3DMark2001 utility. They changed their name to Futuremark before the next revision came out, but the two companies are in essence the same.


MadOnion 3DMark2001


3DMark2001 SE is a part of the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX 8.1 support with completely new graphics (including the GeForce4), it continues to provide benchmark results that empower you to make informed hardware assessments.


Futuremark 3DMark03


3DMark03 is the latest version of the highly favored 3DMark series. By combining full DirectX9.0 support with completely new tests and graphics, 3DMark03 continues the legacy of being industry standard benchmark.


Futuremark PCMark04


PCMark2004 is a multipurpose benchmark, suited for benchmarking all kinds of PCs, from laptops to workstations, as well as across multiple Windows operating systems. This easy-to-use benchmark makes professional strength benchmarking software available even to novice users. PCMark04 consists of a series of tests that represent common tasks in home and office programs. PCMark04 also covers many additional areas outside the scope of other Futuremark benchmarks.





Yes, I was just a bit lazy when making the graphic for this series of tests, but I figured it would save you from having to dig through several different graphs to get the results. Oh well, hopefully most find it more useful in this format.


One testing note to bring up here is the PCMark04 utility. Since we're talking specifically about graphics boards in this piece, I used only the graphics tests for each video card. This results in a formal "no score" result from the test suite, but still provides us with results that are only affected by the graphics board and not other system components.


As expected we see nice increases in all tests with the X800 board. These are only synthetic tests and shouldn't be the sole determining factor when deciding on an upgrade path, but there are solid gains in all test areas. The results from the 3DMark2001 are not as great as some may expect, but we have seen evidence in the past that most Intel systems and nearly all pre-Athlon 64 rigs will have a CPU limiting issue to contend with. This means that the CPU cannot keep up with the power of the graphics board so the processor ends up being the limiting factor instead of the video card. You'll notice, however, that the test results were a lot higher when we started cranking up the 3DMark03 test since there was a good deal more meat to the program to keep the graphics adapter busy.


For those who don't feel up to doing the math, we're looking at a 14% gain in 3DMark2001, a 102% gain in 3DMark03 and a 71% gain in PCMark04. Not too shabby at all so far.


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