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Test notes
We've assembled a couple of test systems that we think are reasonably close to the budget market where HyperMemory and TurboCache cards will reside. Since budget systems aren't likely to have exotic memory capable of running with aggressive timings, we've set our memory to run at relaxed 2.5-3-3-8 timings. HyperMemory and TurboCache cards may benefit from tighter timings, but if you can afford high-end memory, chances are you're not shopping for a $50 graphics card. You may not be running 1GB of system memory, either, so we've our run tests with both 1GB and 512MB of system memory.

There are plenty of results to explore today, including scores from all four TurboCache configurations, and ATI's Radeon X300 SE 128MB HyperMemory. There are a few key match-ups that you'll want to keep an eye on, though. The first, and perhaps most important battle, will be between the 64-bit/32MB HyperMemory and TurboCache cards. The price of these cards is pretty close, and their memory bus width and on-board memory size are the same. Also keep an eye on the action within the TurboCache camp, as cards with different memory bus widths, clock speeds, and on-board memory vie for supremacy.

Since ATI and NVIDIA are selling their respective HyperMemory and TurboCache cards as low-cost upgrades for those with integrated graphics, we've thrown in a Radeon Xpress 200 IGP for good measure. Note that that system is running with a different motherboard, audio drivers, and power supply.

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

Processor Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz
System busHT 16-bit/1GHz downstream
Motherboard DFI LANParty NF4 Ultra-D Shuttle ST20G5
BIOS revisionNF4LD209FT20S905
North bridgeNVIDIA nForce4 UltraATI RS480
South bridgeULi M1573
Chipset driversForceWare 6.53ULi 2095 integrated
Memory size1GB (2 DIMMs)512MB (2 DIMMS)1GB (2 DIMMs)512MB (2 DIMMS)
Memory type OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz Corsair CMX256A-3200LL DDR SDRAM at 400MHz OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz Corsair CMX256A-3200LL DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
CAS latency (CL)2.52.52.52.5
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)3333
RAS precharge (tRP)3333
Cycle time (tRAS)8888
Hard drives Western Digital Raptor WD360GD 37GB SATA
AudionForce4/ALC850Uli M1573/ALC880
Audio driversRealtek 3.71Realtek HD 1.19
Graphics 1ATI Radeon X300SE 128MB HyperMemory (32b/32MB) with CATALYST 5.5 driversATI Radeon Xpress 200 IGP with CATALYST 5.5 drivers
Graphics 2NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache 256MB (64b/64MB) with ForceWare 7.89 drivers 
Graphics 3NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache 128MB (32b/32MB) with ForceWare 7.89 drivers 
Graphics 4NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache 128MB (32b/16MB) with ForceWare 7.89 drivers 
Graphics 4NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache 128MB (64b/32MB) with ForceWare 7.89 drivers 
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS updatesService Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c

Thanks to OCZ for providing us with memory for our testing. If you're looking to tweak out your system to the max and maybe overclock it a little, OCZ's RAM is definitely worth considering.

Also, with the exception of the ST20G5, our test systems were powered by OCZ PowerStream power supply units. The PowerStream was one of our Editor's Choice winners in our latest PSU round-up.

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. All of the 3D gaming tests used the highest possible detail image quality settings except where otherwise noted.

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.