Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review :: Performance

11-29-2004 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun

We've added three new tests to our benchmarks, Doom 3, Half Life 2 and 3DMark 2005. These are the latest games and synthetic benchmarks available. Taken out of our benchmark suite are 3DMark 2001, Dronezmark and Quake 3. While I love Dronez the game, it's been released over 5 years ago. 3DMark 2001 has been around over 4 years and has been replaced by 3DMark03 and 05. I almost kept Quake 3 in our benchmark suite; however, with the release of the OpenGL Doom 3, it was a good time to change. One thing should be noted on the drivers that we use. We only use WHQL drivers in my reviews. While both ATI and NVIDIA released beta drivers for Half Life 2, the drivers are not supported by 3DMark05 and it's best to use supported drivers.

Doom 3 comes with a built-in benchmark, demo 1. To run the benchmark simply go into the options menu, set the settings you want to run the card on, and bring up the console. To bring up the console, hit the Tilde+CTRL+Alt keys together and type timedemo demo 1 in the console. The game will run a benchmark of the character going through a level and give you the fps that the video card generates. I suggest running the benchmark 3 times, as the first time is slower than subsequent benchmarks. We will be using two modes for this benchmark, one with no AA and no AF and one with 4X AA and 8x AF. The Doom 3 benchmark has been shown to run faster on NVIDIA video cards, but it's still an excellent indicator, as OpenGL games do exist.


Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review
Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review
Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review

The Half Life 2 benchmark is a bit more complicated to run but the end result is satisfying. There is no “standard” benchmark in the game; however, I decided to use HardOCP's timedemos from their Half Life 2 review. [H]ardOCP benchmarked entire levels of the game which is extremely useful in giving a overall average frame rate over an extended period of time (11 minutes). So now that you have Half Life 2, how do you benchmark it? The first step is to have the retail game installed. The game doesn't display the console by default so to activate it you need to hit Options, then the Keyboard tab, Advanced, enable console commands. To enter the console hit the Tilde (~) key. To record a time demo, simply type record demoname. To stop recording the demo type stop. At this point the timedemo is recorded and the last step is to type timedemo demoname (insert the name of the demo here). At the end of the benchmark run the results will show total frames, time elapsed, frames per second, and frame variance. HardOCP's timedemos are of the Canal and Coast levels and are of the full levels. Again in this benchmark, we will be using 1024x768 no AA and no AF and 1024x768 4x AA and 8x AF. We included the HL2 benchmark to give a balance of having the latest game benchmarked and balancing the release of Doom 3 in our test bench. Valve, and testing has shown HL2 to favor ATI's cards, because of their strong performance in DirectX 9.0 applications.


Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review
Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review
Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review
Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review
Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review
Asus X800XT PCX Video Card Review

3DMark 2005 is Futuremark's latest synthetic benchmark. It is designed for DirectX 9.0 class video cards exclusively, so owners of GEFORCE 4s or ATI RADEON 9250s or lower should not apply. The standard benchmark will run at the maximum Pixel Shader level that the card supports. In the X800XT's case, that means PS2_0b.

Test System

  • Pentium 4 3.4Extreme Edition
  • 1 GB DDR2 533 MHz memory
  • FoxConn 925 motherboard
  • Asus eXtreme AX 800XT running Catalyst 4.11 WHQL drivers
  • nVidia 6800GT reference video card running 66.93 WHQL drivers
  • 120 GB Seagate Barracuda SATA Hard Drive
  • ePower 600W PSU
  • DirectX 9.0C
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP1

Benchmarks

  • 3dmark05 Build 110
  • 3dmark03 Build 350
  • Halo Combat Evolved Timedemo
  • Doom 3 1.1 Timedemo 1
  • Half Life 2 HardOCP Canal and Coast timedemos
  • Final Fantasy XI Benchmark 2
  • Gunmetal Benchmark 2
  • UT2003 Flyby and Botmatch
  • Serious Sam The Second Encounter
  • Aquamark 3