In our benchmark testing, we will be comparing the Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra MyViVo (GeForce FX 5800 Ultra) to the Radeon 9700 Pro and GeForce4 Ti46008X. Despite an absence of a Radeon 9800 Pro this time around, these cards provide a solid reference point in gauging the GeForce FX's performance in comparison to the competition.
Our reference system is based on NVIDIA's excellent nForce2 platform. The machine is powered by an Athlon XP 2400+ with two Crucial PC2700 256MB DDR modules utilizing the dual channel feature. The system was loaded with the ATI Catalyst 3.2 and NVIDIA Detonator 43.45 drivers, both WHQL certified.
In our benchmark setup we like to run an array of synthetic and real-world tests, including both 3DMark 2001SE and its controversial sibling 3DMark2003. Despite recent reports of NVIDIA "cheating/optimizing" in this program with their just released 44.03 version of the Detonator drivers (note: we used a slightly earlier driver version in this review), we feel that the benchmark is worth it nonetheless. Quake 3: Arena, Comanche 4 and Code Creatures are also included, in addition to our favorite benchmark program, Unreal Tournament 2003.
Desktop Resolution: 1280x960
Color Depth: 32-bit
ASUS A7N8X Deluxe nForce2 Motherboard
Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2400+
Memory: 512MB Crucial DDR SDRAM (2 x 256-MB)
ATI reference drivers: Catalyst 3.2
NVIDIA reference drivers: 43.45
Hard-Drive: Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM ATA100
Microsoft Windows XP Professional v2600
Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra MyViVo 128MB
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro AGP 8X 128MB
MSI G4Ti 4600-VT2D8X at AGP 8X 128MB