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Our testing methods
The benchmark results we'll present come from testing conducted by our own Geoff Gasior. I also conducted extensive testing myself on a GeForce FX 5800 Ultra as we formulated the best means of testing for these driver optimizations. The results of Geoff's tests served to confirm my own results. Since Geoff was able to test on a wider range of cards, we've elected to publish his results.

As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run three times, and the results were averaged.

Our test system was configured like so:

 System
ProcessorAthlon XP 'Thoroughbred' 2600+ 2.083GHz
Front-side bus333MHz (166MHz DDR)
MotherboardAsus A7N8X
ChipsetNVIDIA nForce2
North bridgenForce2 SPP
South bridgenForce2 MCP
Chipset driversNVIDIA 2.03
Memory size512MB (2 DIMMs)
Memory typeCorsair XMS3200 PC2700 DDR SDRAM (333MHz)
SoundnForce2 APU
Graphics cardGeForce FX 5200 Ultra 128MB
GeForce FX 5600 256MB
GeForce FX 5800 Ultra 128MB
Graphics driverDetonator 44.03
StorageMaxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X 7200RPM ATA/100 hard drive
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Professional
OS updatesService Pack 1, DirectX 9.0a

The "Quality" setting was used with the Detonator FX 44.03 drivers.

The test system's Windows desktop was set at 1024x768 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.