Benchmark Setup

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

System Configuration
The following system was used to test the videocard.

  • MSI KT3-Ultra2 (VIA KT333CE chipset) *see note below
  • AMD XP1800+ CPU (overclocked to 166×10=1660MHz)
  • 512MB PC2700 RAM (166MHz FSB)
  • MSI Ti4800SE-VTD8X (275MHz GPU, 550MHz RAM)
  • Western Digital 120GB WD1200BB 2MB Cache
  • Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card
  • LinkSys LNE-100TX v5 LAN adapter

Benchmarks

  • First-person shooter – Unreal Tournament 2003
  • Roleplaying game – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Realtime Strategy – Age of Mythology, Command and Conquer: Generals
  • Overclocking & 3DMark 2001

The Purpose of the Benchmarks
The best way to understand the limits of a video card is to test it with real-world games that are currently being played. I will not emphasize theoretical benchmarks or legacy benchmark games as they often don’t translate into something useful for the average consumer. Being a moderator here at AMDForums, I have a sense of what is being played and what people are looking for when making purchasing decisions. People often upgrade based on performance of their current game – if their “Game X” is too slow, then it’s time for an upgrade. I’ve tried to take a game sample that is representative of that situation.

There are two genres I am missing from making this benchmark suite complete: a racing game and a flight simulator. I hope to acquire licenses of these games for my next article.

Why are we using a 4x AGP board to test a 8x AGP card?
Due to a logistical problem, we were not able to get an 8x AGP board configured properly in time to do this review. We will update this article as soon as possible. We apologize to our readers and we assure you that all benchmarks involving 8x AGP will be added to this review very soon.

Nomenclature

  • AA, Anti-aliasing – an algorithm that gives the illusion that an edge in 3D space is rendered with a finer grid than in reality (aka. “removes the jaggies”). AA is more important at lower resolutions since a rendered line has fewer pixels and therefore more jaggy.
  • AF, Anisotropic Filtering – the sharpening of textures as it recedes away from the viewer.
  • AAxAF – notation used to indicate an anti-aliasing/anisotropic filtering pair. Example, “2×4 AAxAF” means that anti-aliasing is set to 2x and anisotropic filtering set to 4x.
  • FPS, Frames per second – the number of frames rendered by the video hardware per second. Higher the number, the smoother things appear.
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