Product: GeForce 7800 GT OC
Company: BFG Technologies
Authour: Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Date: October 29th, 2005
Test Setup

Resolutions

We chose screen resolutions based on the most commonly used displays today. 1280x1024 is the native resolution of most 17" and 19" 4:3 LCD panels and often used on lower-end CRTs (and is comparable to 1280x960, which is the proper 4:3 resolution). 1600x1200 is used on many mid-range to high-end CRTs and also on some LCD panels and is generally considered "high-res" by most gamers. 1920x1200 is the native resolution on many widescreen LCD panels such as Dell's popular 2405FSW LCD panel, and 2048x1536 is the highest resolution the test display can achieve and beyond the abilities of most displays out there. It's useful for giving these cards a workout where CPU performance would have little impact.

  • 1024x768
  • 1280x1024
  • 1600x1200
  • 1920x1200
  • 2048x1536

Image Quality Settings

For the settings we have tested with no Anti-aliasing or Anisotropic Filtering, with AA and AF separately, and again with both AA and AF enabled at the same time. This way we can see how much of impact these technologies have on 3D performance individually and when used together.

  • No AA & No AF
  • No AA & 16x AF
  • 4x AA & No AF
  • 4x AA & 16x AF

Test System Specs

  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+, @2.4GHz Newcastle core
  • Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium, s939 NForce4
  • Videocards: (Check the Specifications chart for more details on these cards).
    • BFG GeForce 7800 GT OC SLi
    • BFG GeForce 7800 GT OC
    • nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX
    • nVidia GeForce 7800 GT
    • ATI Radeon X1800XT 512MB
    • HIS Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition
  • Video Drivers:
    • NVIDIA ForceWare 81.85 Beta
      • BFG GeForce 7800 GT OC SLi
      • BFG GeForce 7800 GT OC
      • nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX
      • nVidia GeForce 7800 GT
    • Catalyst 5.10a Hotfix
      • ATI Radeon X1800 XT 512MB
      • HIS Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition
  • Memory: 1GB (2x512MB) OCZ DDR PC-4200 Platinum Edition @ 400MHz/2-3-3-7 1T
  • HDD: Seagate Barracuda V SATA, 7200rpm
  • Sound: Onboard, disabled for most tests
  • PSU: Enermax Noisetaker EG495P-PE 485W
  • OS: Windows XP Pro SP2

Benchmark Software

  • F.E.A.R., v1.01 (DirectX)
  • Quake 4, v1.0 (OpenGL)
  • Battlefield 2, v1.03 (DirectX)
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, v1.05 (DirectX)
  • Half-Life 2, Source Engine 7 (DirectX)
  • Doom 3, v1.3 (OpenGL)
  • Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, v1.01 (OpenGL)
  • Far Cry, v1.33 (DirectX)
  • Pacific Fighters, v4.01 (OpenGL)
  • 3DMark03, build 3.6.0 (DirectX)
  • 3DMark05, build 1.2.0 (DirectX)

The Windows XP desktop was set to 1280x960 with a 32bit color depth and 85Hz refresh rate for all tests. Refresh rate locks for 3D graphics modes, as supported by both NVIDIA and ATI graphics control panels, was not enabled. V-Sync was forced off via the graphics card control panel as well. All other graphics card control panel settings were left to their default settings unless otherwise noted.

Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropy were applied in the game engine where the options existed. For games that did not support those options natively, the graphics card control panel was used.

Custom batch files were used when possible for automated benchmarking (the details of the commands used are outlined for each test). When manual benchmarking was necessary Fraps version 2.6.4 was used.

Benchmarking was done with Windows set to the "Adjust for best performance" profile, and all unnecessary Windows services and hardware devices were disabled. The latest drivers for each necessary hardware component were installed prior to testing and kept consistent throughout.

The Onboard sound was disabled for all tests unless otherwise noted.

To setup the test machine I installed Windows XP, patched and tweaked it, and installed all the required games, apps, utilities, and hardware drivers needed for the testing procedure except for the graphics drivers. Using Norton Ghost, I then cloned the drive onto a second identical hard-drive. After that I installed the ATI drivers on one hard-drive and the NVIDIA drivers on the other. Testing the videocards was then a simple matter of swapping videocards and hard-drives when required.

For this review I also overclocked my aging A64 3500+ to 2.4GHz from 2.2GHz to try and reduce the CPU bottleneck on these graphics cards.

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