Single page Print

Our testing methods
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
ProcessorAMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GHz
Front-side busHT 16-bit/600MHz downstream
HT 8-bit/600MHz upstream
MotherboardChaintech Zenith ZNF3-150
ChipsetNVIDIA nForce3 Pro 150
Chipset driversnForce 3.13
Memory size512MB (1 DIMM)
Memory typeCorsair XMS3500 PC3200 DDR SDRAM (400MHz)
Graphics cardGeForce FX 5900SE 128MB
GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB
Radeon 9600 XT 128MB
Graphics driverDetonator FX 52.16CATALYST 3.9
StorageMaxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X 7200RPM ATA/100 hard drive
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Professional
OS updatesService Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b

Today we'll be looking at the GeForce FX 5900 XT's performance against its $200 competition: the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra and ATI's Radeon 9600 XT. I've included results for the 5900 XT with NVIDIA's previous 52.16 drivers, and the new 53.03s.

Though ATI's Catalyst 3.9 drivers support Overdrive automatic overclocking for the Radeon 9600 XT, we ran the card with Overdrive disabled. Since Overdrive is controlled by the GPU core temperature, which is influenced by variable ambient system temperatures and the thermal characteristics of individual graphics cores, it's hard to come up with reproducible scores.

It's important to mention that, at press time, the NVIDIA Detonator 53.03 drivers we used for testing weren't approved by FutureMark for use with 3DMark03. FutureMark has yet to evaluate the drivers in question. Keep in mind that future 3DMark03 patches may combat optimizations in unapproved drivers, which could impact performance in the benchmark.

The test system's Windows desktop was set at 1024x768 in 32-bit color at a 75Hz 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.