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Our testing methods
All tests were run three times, and the results were averaged, using the following test systems.

ProcessorIntel Pentium 4 520 2.8GHz
Front-side bus800MHz (200MHz quad pumped)
MotherboardGigabyte GA-8I915G-MF
North bridgeIntel 915G
South bridgeIntel ICH6
Chipset drivers6.0.1.1002
Memory size1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory typeOCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
CAS latency2
Cycle time5
RAS to CAS delay2
RAS precharge2
Hard drivesWestern Digital Raptor WD360GD 37GB
AudioICH6/ALC850
GraphicsATI Radeon X600 Pro
ATI Radeon X300
NVIDIA GeForce 6200Intel GMA 900
Graphics driverCATALYST 4.10 hotfixForceWare 66.8114.7
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2

We'll be comparing the GeForce 6200's performance with a couple of Radeons and Intel's Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900. In lieu of a real Radeon X600 Pro, I used a Radeon X600 XT clocked Pro speeds. I also had to underclock our Radeon X300 to get it running at the correct 325MHz core and effective 200MHz memory clock speeds. The reference card I received from ATI was running a 400MHz core and 290MHz memory clock—much faster than cards you can buy on the market.

I should also note that the X300 card has 256MB of memory. This is common practice for low-end cards as manufacturers try to dazzle less savvy buyers with higher numbers. However, we've found that low-end cards just don't have the horsepower to take advantage of 256MB of memory, so the advantage is dubious at best.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests and drivers were left at their default image quality settings. Both ATI and NVIDIA's default image quality driver settings use adaptive anisotropic filtering algorithms.

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.