The Test

We decided to focus solely on how graphics card selection impacts the framerate of Doom 3 using the built in timedemo utility and prerecorded demo1.demo benchmark. This was done in the interest of getting useable data out as soon as possible. We are currently playing with recording our own demos and testing other aspects of the game. From what we've seen so far, it seems like demo1 and the timedemo utility report an accurate picture of performance.

In order to eliminate as much bottleneck as possible from the system, we went with our overclocked FX53 in the 939 platform. After having gathered data for this and other reviews we are working on, our overclock may have had more impact if we had pushed the RAM of the system rather than the multiplier of our processor. But that's another article.

 Performance Test Configuration
Processor(s): AMD Athlon 64 FX53 (oc to 2.6GHz)
RAM: 2 x 512Mb OCZ 3500 Platinum Ltd (2:3:2:10)
Hard Drives Seagate 120GB 7200 RPM (8MB Buffer)
Video AGP & IDE Bus Master Drivers VIA Hyperion 4.51
Video Card(s): NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce 6800
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950
ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Ed.
ATI Radeon X800 Pro
ATI Radeon 9800 XT
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
ATI Radeon 9600 XT
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500
ATI Radeon 9200
NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti 4400
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 4.7
NVIDIA ForceWare 61.77
Operating System(s): Windows XP Professional SP1
Motherboards: MSI MS-6702E (VIA K8T800 Pro Chipset)


Our tests are divided into sections that reflect the general performance capabilities of the cards tested. For example, High End consists of current generation cards such as the X800 Pro and 6800, Low end consists of much older or very low performance cards like the GF4 Ti 4400 and the Radeon 9200. Midrange is essentially everything in between and is the largest category with the most tests.

Index High End Tests: Tourney
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  • WooDaddy - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Hey tfranzese,

    Yeah, I'll be fine, but I don't want to run at 640x480. I do have DDR, but only 256. This definately reminds me of the old days when I wanted to play Turok with my Riva128 card on my AMD K75 (or something like that). The minimum spec back then was really minimum spec and it seems the same here. I don't like being on the low-end so I'll probably build up a A64 system with some decent video card.

    I just think this is great. D3 will hopefully be the shot in the arm to get everybody back to spending money in the PC market. I just hope Matrox, S3 and others jump back in the frey again.
    Reply
  • Boardmonger - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    I am currently looking at buying a IBM Thinkpad T42 with a 64mb 9600m and I want it to play Doom3 and HL2 (Maybe not great, but playable.) I really want to move to a mobile solution to replace my desktop, but I still want to play a game from time to time and I think that if I can find a notebook that can play Doom3 and HL2 it will handle most of the new games for the next year or more. Any chance of benchmarking some notebooks with mid range cards in the next round of tests? Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    "Actually, your XP1700 is just fine (at the low end) The min spec is a 1.5 MHz Intel or roughly a XP1500+"

    Actually, because that 1.5 GHz Intel is a Pentium 4 adn his XP 1700+ is a 1.4 GHz Athlon. In comparison he's about 500 Willamette MHz ahead of the minimum with that chip. So, yeah, he's set as you said depending on Doom 3's memory bandwidth requirement which could play an important role.

    However, with a minimum such as a 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 you also have to consider what such ancient machines could have in them, namely the possible crippling SDRAM.
    Reply
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    it was my understanding that the GF4MX = GF2MX + AA. I'm surprised it would even work. It's funny that Carmack says GF4MX is ok when GF2MX isnt, if you dont have antialiasing on, your not ganing much. Maybe if its on a smaller process or something...

    lanz: Since they started menchmarking with ATI Cards... OHHH!!!! (j/k, yeah, sounds fishy)
    Reply
  • lanz - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Actually, looking at those benchies, something is defo wrong....

    1024, x4 AA, High Quality X800 XTPE gets 51.6fps

    and

    1024, NO AA, High Quality X800 XTPE gets 46.5!

    Since when as applying x4AA increase your framerate?
    Reply
  • kherman - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Where are the ati 9600 SE benchmarks!

    What can this Piece of XXXX do? I ave one and already decided to upgrade to a Geforce 6800 base model. I figured I'd be doing 640x480 at medium res....

    Will someone, ANYONE, do a benchmark for this card.
    Reply
  • punko - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Actually, your XP1700 is just fine (at the low end) The min spec is a 1.5 MHz Intel or roughly a XP1500+ Reply
  • WooDaddy - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Wow... I feel like its the old days when 640x480 was an acceptable resolution to play with my Nvidia Riva128.

    I feel invigorated almost. I must upgrade and spend money! My 4200 can't cut it. Neither can my Xp1700.

    Carmack, good job! You may have just singlehandedly improved the personal tech sector. I'm buying nvidia stock now! I would suggest you would too.

    Reply
  • Goi - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Wow, the low end still seems pretty mainstream to me. I would've liked to see a GF3/GF4MX/R8500/GF FX5200 thrown into the mix. Reply
  • punko - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Re:13

    Derek, I could sell you a used one . . .
    Reply

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