I used a pretty standard set of benchmarking tools so that we would all be able to tell just how well this card can perform. They consisted of 3dMark2000, 3dMark2001, and the faithful Quake III Timedemo test using Demo001. These are all staples and should let us know if this particular card can do better than the average MX cards on the market.
Both 3dMark programs were run at default settings and the full battery of tests were run.
Quake III Arena was run with all the eye candy enabled, and the following settings within the game:
- GL Extensions: ON
- Full Screen: ON
- Lighting: LIGHTMAP
- Geometric Detail: HIGH
- Texture Detail: Max setting on slider bar
- Texture Quality: 32 BIT
- Texture Filter: TRILINEAR
- Test System
AMD Thunderbird 1000 @ 1333MHz (AVIA)
256MB Crucial PC133 SDRAM
Western Digital 20GB ATA-66 HDD @ 7200 RPM
SoundBlaster Live Audio Card
Win98SE (Fresh Install w/ no system tweaks)
nVidia 14.70 Detonator Drivers
- Results - 3dMark2000
3dMark2000 ran very smoothly using the OCZ card. Results like these are why the MX series cards are such a good seller. All tests resulted in a very playable rate of speed.
- Results - 3dMark2001
While testing in 3dMark2001, I had a lot of visual artifacts appearing on the screen. Even when turning the speed down a bit to more normal levels, I was getting some distortion and such. It looks like the MX400 chipset is the limiting factor here. Since this particular test was really designed for high-end video boards, just the fact that it was able to complete the testing seemed to indicate that the card is a fighter at heart.
- Results - Quake III Arena (FPS)
While I don't have any personal results of a MX400 card to reflect against, I did a lot of searching on the internet to find results from systems that were a close match to my own and started averaging the results found. While it may not be the most scientific way to conduct a comparison, it did allow me to get results from a number of different sources and compare them to my findings during the course of these tests. All results from the OCZ card were 8-10 FPS faster than other cards. If you don't think that this seems like much, then try getting another 10 FPS from your current card on a consistent basis. And with no tweaks done to the system (fresh install of Win98SE remember), it's an even more impressive feat.
Something else that bears mentioning here is the usefulness of the Blue Orb. Running back-to-back tests like this can really tax the video card (as well as the rest of the system). I ran all ten timedemos one after the other. Just for fun, I tested my Creative GeForce2 GTS card the same way and only made it through six tests before it refused to load the next resolution. The card got hot and I had to let it rest a bit before continuing. Active cooling can go a long way to not only getting higher clocks from your card, but also in maintaining stability when you stress out the system.
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