Published: 18th December 2006 | Source: XFX | Price: |How we tested
With the pure speed of cards out on the market at the moment I tend to focus on gameplay in my reviews. I will play each of the test suite games on as high settings as I could possibly play them at while maintaining a frame rate that is enjoyable to play at. If the quality of the gaming looks the same at different settings then I will choose the setting with the best FPS. This differs from game to game and person to person but I play a lot of games and have played with a lot of graphics cards so I hope that I can impart a decent opinion. To offset this angle I also run a test suite of 3dMark03, 05 and 06. These will give you some numbers on what the cards perform like at stock speeds, for comparison. Overclocking on the nVidia 8800GTS was done using Rivatuner 16.2 beta and no volt mods (software or hardware) were performed on the card.
For this high-end card I am using an overclocked Core2Duo E6600 running at 3.33GHz. Hopefully this will rule out as much bottleneck caused by the processor as possible.
Intel Core2Duo E6600 @ 3.33GHz
Asus P5W Dh Deluxe
Mushkin HP2 PC6400 running at SPD (CAS 5) due to motherboard restrictions
HDD: OS - 160gb Hitachi Deskstar SATA II
HDD: Gaming - 2 x 40gb Hitachi Deskstars in RAID 0
Sound: Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS
Power: OCZ Gamexstream 850w
Case: Lian Li PC75b Project <<|Black3D|>>
For installation I have installed the card as usual with the normal PCI-E power dongle. Checked that the card is seated correctly and powered on.
I am using a clean install of Windows XP Professional SP2 with all the latest patches.
The X1950XTX is using the Cat 6.10's. For the 7950GX2 I am using nVidia's official Forceware drivers - 91.43. For the 8800GTX I am using 97.02's and for the 8800GTS I will use the 97.44's.
For reference I am using some figures from previously reviewed cards that used the same setup:
Powercolor X1950XT-X. Clock Speed: 650. Memory speed: 1000 (2000)
Gainward 7950 GX2. Clock Speed: 2 x 500. Memory Speed 600 (1200)
Asus 8800GTX. Clock Speed: 575. Memory Speed 900 (1800)
XFX 8800GTS. Clock Speed: 500. Memory Speed 800 (1600)