Our testing methods
All tests were run three times, and the results were averaged, using the following test systems.
|Processor||Intel Pentium 4 520 2.8GHz|
|Front-side bus||800MHz (200MHz quad pumped)|
|North bridge||Intel 915G|
|South bridge||Intel ICH6|
|Memory size||1GB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz|
|RAS to CAS delay||2|
|Hard drives||Western Digital Raptor WD360GD 37GB|
|Graphics||ATI Radeon X600 Pro|
ATI Radeon X300
|NVIDIA GeForce 6200||Intel GMA 900|
|Graphics driver||CATALYST 4.10 hotfix||ForceWare 66.81||14.7|
|OS||Microsoft 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 clockmuch 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:
- DOOM 3 with trhaze and trdelta1 demos
- Unreal Tournament 2004 v3270 with trdemo1
- Counter-Strike Source with trdemo1
- Far Cry 1.2 with tr3-pier and tr1-volcano demos
- FutureMark 3DMark05 v110
- Xpand Rally single player demo with trtest
- FRAPS 2.2.5
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.