3DMark 2005 is the latest version in the popular 3DMark series of gaming benchmarks, and is the first to actually require full DirectX 9.0 compatibility. The 3DMark '05 program also offers a high-end selection of both gaming and CPU tests, while upping the ante in terms of jaw-dropping graphics and 3D feature support. 3DMark '05 is not only a prime way of determining potential DirectX 9 game performance, but includes a CPU benchmark and a fully-featured Image Quality suite.
3DMark 2005 is a serious 3D performance benchmark, and along with the DirectX 9 requirement, it exacts a heavy toll on the hardware. It is also more of an even test between the two architectures, and FutureMark has continued to issue patches and updates to ensure a level playing field. The chart shows a very close race between ATI and NVIDIA, but the AiW Radeon X800 XT manages to slide just ahead of the GeForce 6800 Ultra, although the scores are so close, we would call it a dead heat. It will be interesting to see if these trends continue once we enable the higher anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering settings.
In a bit of a surprise, we find the AiW Radeon X800 XT in its usual spot. just ahead of the GeForce 6800 GT, but this time the power of the GeForce 6800 Ultra comes to the fore. As ATI held a slight advantage in standard testing, so too does NVIDIA when the detail settings are increased.
Our secondary 3DMark 2005 benchmark tests utilize the Feature Test portion of the benchmark, which concentrates on the Fill Rate and Vertex and Pixel Shader performance. The first chart shows the cards ranked by Fill Rate performance, with the number displayed representing MTexels/second, while the second chart has the cards ranked by Vertex and Pixel Shader performance, with the number displayed representing MVertices/second.
The Single Texture Fill Rate results (MTexels/second) is another area that ATI has a stranglehold on, and it does not change in this round of benchmark testing. The AiW Radeon X800 XT 256-MB card posts a very impressive score, but this does not hold up in the Multi-Texturing tests, where the GeForce 6800 Ultra takes the top spot.
The 3DMark 2005 Pixel and Vertex Shader performance scores (displayed as MVertices/second) show the advantages and disadvantages of the ATI cards when compared to their NVIDIA competition. The Pixel Shader test has the AiW Radeon X800 XT just behind the GeForce 6800 GT, while the Vertex Shader score give a noticeable edge to the Radeon X800 XT graphics cards.