Setup and Methodology

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  • MSI KT4 Ultra (VIA KT400 chipset)
  • AMD Athlon XP1800+ @ 166MHz x10
  • OCZ 512MB PC3500 @ 166MHz, 2-3-6-3-Fast
  • MSI GeForce FX5600 (270MHz GPU, 550MHz RAM)
  • MSI GeForce Ti4800SE (275MHz GPU, 550MHz RAM)
  • Santa Cruz PCI sound card
  • LinkSys LNE530TX v5 LAN
  • Western Digital WD120BB 2MB Cache
  • Windows 2000 with SP3

Variables (things we will test):

  • Video card model
    • GeForce 4 Ti4800SE (control variable)
    • GeForce FX5600 (test variable)

  • Drivers
    • Detonator v43.45
    • Detonator v44.03

  • Game performance
    • Freelancer (6000-7000 samples in FRAPS)
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2900-3200 samples in FRAPS)
    • Unreal Tournament 2003 – CTF-Face3 Flyby
    • Unreal Tournament 2003 – DM-Asbestos

  • Image quality
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
    • Unreal Tournament 2003 – CTF-Anubis

  • Anisotropy levels
    • 0 samples (0xAF)
    • 8 samples (8xAF)


  • Screen resolution 1024x768x32bits
  • Drivers set to “Quality”, VSynch OFF
  • Anti-aliasing set to 0x.
  • Freelancer details: Maximum details
  • Morrowind details: 50% view distance, pixel-shading ON, real-time shadows OFF
  • Unreal Tournament 2003: Ultra-High details, all options turned ON (i.e. foliage etc.)

Tools for Measurement:

  • FRAPS was used to measure average frame rates in Freelancer and Morrowind
  • Unreal Tournament 2003’s benchmark batch files used to record frame rates for UT2K3
  • HyperSnapDX v5.11.01 used to take screen captures of Morrowind and Unreal Tournament 2003 (as per NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra Reviewer’s Guide, page 11)


  • Determine if the optimization is isolated to Unreal Tournament 2003.
  • Determine if the optimization is isolated to the FX5600 card.
  • Determine if the optimization is isolated to v44.03 drivers.
  • Determine if optimization’s effect on image quality.
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