The Gigabyte Radeon HD 3870 512MB represents the high-end mainstream market quite well, and competes head-on against the various GeForce 8800GT and 9600GT variants. Our standard performance platform fits the bill, including a 2.93 GHz Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor, 2x1GB of CAS4 DDR2-800, and an Intel 975X motherboard. This is a good platform mix for performance video card benchmarking, and without going too overboard, while making sure our system configuration does not limit the benchmarks.
We've assembled a wide range of video cards for the benchmarking section, featuring a selection of mainstream and high-end competitors. These include the GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB, GeForce 7950 GT 512MB, GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB, GeForce 8800 GT 512MB, and GeForce 8800 GTS (G92) 512MB from the NVIDIA side, while the Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB, Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB, Radeon HD 3850 512MB, and Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB represent ATI. Our platforms use the ForceWare 169.25 and Catalyst 8.1 drivers. Since this is a DirectX 10 card, we have upgraded our operating system to Windows Vista Ultimate.
Our benchmark selection includes a couple of newer game benchmarks in the form of Unreal Tournament 3 and World in Conflict, while we retain the usual Crysis, Lost Planet, Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes, F.E.A.R., 3DMark06 Advanced, Quake 4, and FarCry tests. This represents a combination of many different game engines and feature sets, and all have proven stable and reliable under Windows Vista.
Initial testing is performed using standard 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 32-bit settings, and then we move to the widescreen arena with high-end 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering results at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions (or similar, like 1920x1080, depending on game support). With widescreen gaming becoming so popular, this represents an area that many gamers will need covered.
* Please note that unless otherwise stated, all performance graph results equate to the standard "higher is better" format.
Desktop Resolution: 1920x1200
Color Depth: 32-bit
Intel Core 2 Reference System:
Processors: Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93 GHz)
Memory: 2 x 1GB Ultra DDDR2-800 (CAS4)
Motherboard: Intel D975XBX2
Motherboard chip set: Intel 975X
NVIDIA reference drivers: ForceWare 169.25
ATI reference drivers: Catalyst 8.1
Hard-Drive: Seagate Barracuda 750GB
IDE Interface: Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s
CD/DVD: Samsung DVD-R SH-S162
Power Supply: Enermax EG651P-VE-24P 550W EPS12V
Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate
Monitor: Dell 2407WFP 24" LCD
Gigabyte Radeon HD 3870 512MB
GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB
Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB
GeForce 7950 GT 512MB
Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB
Radeon HD 3850 512MB
GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB
GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB