Company: ATI Technologies
Authour: Alex 'Morgoth Bauglir' Voicu
Editor: Charles 'Lupine' Oliver
Date: April 14th, 2008
As promised in the closing comments of part I, Rage3D is back with even more testing of the new ATi 3870X2, this time abandoning the new-age glitter of DX10 titles in order to explore the well established maturity of DX9 ones. Stick with us to see what happens when a pair of new GPUs deals with an old challenge.
The DX9 games on show today: The Witcher, Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Half Life 2: Lost Coast.
All of the games being tested are patched to their latest version, except S.T.A.L.K.E.R, which was patched to version 1.005, with a version 1.006 released after testing was completed.
The testing methodology employed is fairly simple, with 3 major ways of testing utilized:
- Inbuilt Testing - Lost Coast and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
- Custom Testing Applications - Unreal Tournament 3, with UT3bench lending a hand.
- FRAPS - Testing runs with FRAPS 2.9.4 - for all other games
Irrespective of the method employed, the results you'll see will always be the average of 3 runs (in some cases, this means actually doing 4 runs and discarding the first as it produced results that didn't align themselves with the following 3 due to the loading and caching taking place during the first run). This will be detailed in each game's dedicated section
Details with respect to the particular timedemo/level used for testing will be provided for each of the games being tested with either custom testing applications or FRAPS, in their respective section.
Unless otherwise specified (and there are only two circumstances when it'll happen), all graphical settings are set to their maximum values in the games' menus. This often means going over the highest available preset; we're assuming that those interested in high-end GPUs, like the 3870X2, also want the best possible quality. All tests were run at 1920x1200 with sound enabled.
We'll employ a fixed structure for presenting the data: for each game we'll first look at absolute performance numbers expressed in FPS for both a single 3870X2 and dual 3870X2s, after which we'll look at the benefits of adding a second X2 and going for a Quad CrossfireX solution.
As in Part I, the review system specs are as follows:
- CPU: Intel Core2 Extreme QX9650 clocked at 3.2GHz(8x400) in order to emulate a QX9770 CPU
- Motherboard: Abit IX38 QuadGT with bios version 12(final)
- RAM: 8GB DDR2 800 5-5-5-15 timings
- HDD: Samsung SP2504C and Samsung HD501LJ
- PSU: Sirtec Rocksolid HPC-1200-G14C 1200W
- GPU: 2 HIS HD3870X2 with Catalyst 8.471, build date 22.02.2008 (basically the 8.3 Catalyst driver set without the WHQL certification)
- SOUND: Realtek ALC888 HD Audio with R1.88 drivers
And now, at last, on to the benchies!
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