Single page Print

Pixel-filling power
We've talked a little bit about shader power and memory bandwidth, but let's pause here to look at pixel and texel throughput alongside memory bandwidth. Shader power is becoming more and more prevalent in newer games, but these old-school metrics still dictate part of the performance picture. As expected, the Ultra's at the top of the heap in nearly every measure.

  Core
clock
(MHz)
Pixels/
clock
Peak
fill rate
(Mpixels/s)
Textures/
clock
Peak
fill rate
(Mtexels/s)
Effective
memory
clock (MHz)
Memory
bus width
(bits)
Peak memory
bandwidth
(GB/s)
GeForce 7950 GT5501688002413200140025644.8
Radeon X1900 XT62516100001610000145025646.4
GeForce 7900 GTX65016104002415600160025651.2
Radeon X1950 XTX65016104001610400200025664.0
GeForce 8800 GTS50020100002412000160032064.0
GeForce 8800 GTX57524138003218400180038486.4
GeForce 8800 Ultra612241468832195842160384103.7

Yep, the 8800 Ultra has about twice the memory bandwidth of the GeForce 7900 GTX, believe it or not, and it leads in the other categories, including pixel fill rate, texturing capacity, and "impresses the chicks." The only way any existing solution could keep up would be in a multi-GPU configuration. We can measure several of these capabilities via synthetic benchmarks, to see if the Ultra lives up to its potential.

The Ultra comes very near to its theoretical peak for multitexturing, as do the other solutions we've pitted against it.