CPU Tests, Feature Tests and System Setup

CPU Tests: Red Valley

The CPU tests consist of a maze of canyons on a Mars-like landscape and a total of 87 moving game units or bots on the screen.  The game scene has three different types of CPU load: game logic, physics and path finding AI. 

Futuremark 3DMark06 Benchmark Overview - Graphics Cards 19

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This test is locked at 640×480 and it does not use any dynamic shadows to basically offload the GPU completely.  The two CPU tests differ only in the parameters that affect the game load; Test 1 has an approximate physics load of 8% while Test 2 has one of about 13%.  The AI load is conversely loaded as well. 

Also, both CPU tests are setup to use multiple threads (at least three, more if more processors are available) so we should see some good benefits with dual core processors in the new 3DMark06 benchmark (since the CPU score is weighted in the overall score now). 

Feature Tests

All the previous feature tests make a return in 3DMark06 including the fill rate test, pixel shader test and two vertex shader tests.  New additions include two SM3.0 specific tests for particles and noise.  We’ll look into these more in our next GPU review.

Current GPU Performance

Now that we have briefly looked at the technology behind 3DMark06, let’s see how the current crop of GPUs performs on it. 

Our test setup is as follows:

GPU Test System Setup


NVIDIA 7800 GTX 512
XFX 7800 GTX (450/1.25)
XFX 7800 GT (450/1.05)
XFX GeForce 6800 GS (485/550)
ATI X1800 XT
ATI X1800 XL
ATI X1600 XT


Athlon 64 FX-55Review


ATI CrossFire Reference Board
Gigabyte K8NXP-SLIReview

Chipset Driver

5.12 CCC / 6.70 NVIDIA


2 x 512 MB Corsair 3200XL

Memory Timings

2.0 2-2-5

Sound Card

Sound Blaster Audigy 2

Hard Drive

Maxtor DiamondMax 10 300 GB

Operating System

Windows XP Professional SP1



ATI Driver


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