3DMark06 Advanced Performance
3DMark06 Advanced is the latest version of this popular 3DMark series of gaming benchmarks from Futuremark, and is the first to showcase new HDR/SM3.0 and SM2.0 graphics tests, as well as offering multi-core tailored CPU tests. The Feature tests have also been enhanced for the newest 3D support, and helps provide reliable measurements for game hardware of today and tomorrow. This is one very serious performance test, which punishes cards that do not fully support HDR/SM3.0 or SM2.0, and really puts video hardware to the next-generation test. In this review, we will be concentrating on the individual benchmark tests covering fill rate, vertex and pixel shading, SM2.0/SM3.0 results, and the individual Shader Particles and Perlin Noise SM3.0 tests.
3DMark06 Advanced Fill Rate Performance
The first part of our 3DMark06 Advanced testing utilizes the Feature Test portion of the benchmark (at the standard 1280x1024 resolution), and concentrates on the Fill Rate performance. This chart shows the cards ranked by Fill Rate performance, with the number displayed representing MTexels/second.
The Fill Rate benchmark tests show the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB posting scores that fall in the middle of the pack. Sure, the GeForce 8600 GTS rules the mainstream crowd, and it outperforms the Radeon X1950 Pro in the multi-texturing section, but the high-end GeForce 7 Series cards are significantly faster in these tests, owing to their more robust pipeline architecture.
3DMark06 Advanced Vertex and Pixel Shader Performance
The 3DMark06 Advanced Pixel and Vertex Shader benchmark is another area that the advanced SM4.0 architecture of the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB really starts to pay dividends. The Pixel Shader scores are certainly very good for the class, but the Vertex Shader results are off the hook.
3DMark06 Advanced SM2.0 & SM3.0/HDR Performance
The SM2.0 & SM3.0/HDR benchmark tests are both in the wheelhouse of the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB, and the card knocks them out of the park. The SM2.0 scores are tops in the chart, while only the powerful GeForce 7950 GT 512MB posts a higher score in the HDR/SM3.0 test.
3DMark06 Advanced Shader Particles & Perlin Noise SM3.0 Performance
The last 3DMark section includes the Shader Particles and Perlin Noise benchmarks, which are both SM3.0 shader tests. The Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB posts a respectable score in the Perlin Noise test, but absolutely smokes the field in the Shader particles benchmark. Please note that the ATI Radeon X1000 cards cannot complete the Shader particles testing.