Mid Range Graphics Card CPU scaling

For mid-range cards we've got three from ATI and one from NVIDIA; as we've discovered in previous Half Life 2 articles, NVIDIA's last-generation mid-range cards are only reasonable performers in DirectX 8 mode, and we are conducting a fully DX9 comparison here so that excludes all of them. From ATI we've got the Radeon 9700 Pro, Radeon 9800 Pro and Radeon X700 Pro. We've also included the NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT, which as you will remember from our previous articles, performs very similarly to the GeForce 6800 non-ultra under Half Life 2.

Our mid-range tests were conducted at 1280 x 1024, the target resolution for most mid-range cards.

If you've got any of ATI's mid-range GPUs, you're stuck with severely diminishing returns after about 1.4 - 1.6GHz on the Athlon 64 (< 2800+ range). The GeForce 6600GT is far less GPU bound at 1280 x 1024 (and even at 1024 x 768 although not depicted here), and thus scales relatively well.

High End Graphics Card CPU Scaling Final Words


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  • Avalon - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Yep, I felt there should have been an Athlon XP in there, since many users are still running XPs, and many enthusiasts are running overclocked mobile bartons. I just assumed that an XP 3200+ would be equivalent to the 2.8ghz P4 they benched, and went from there. Reply
  • arfan - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I think Half Life 2 is more friendly than DOOM3. We can play HL2 with old video card (entry level video card). But to play DOO3 we need mid range video card :( Reply
  • blckgrffn - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Agreed, there are a lot of us that are still running our XPs. Hard to beat the bang for the buck on that platform, but just how much are we missing out? Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Awesome article. Only thing I would have liked to see is an Athlon XP3200 (as outdated as it is) in the mix as well just to see where it would fall on the charts. Reply
  • acejj26 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Good to see Anand writing articles again. I get tired of seeing grammatical and spelling errors in articles written by some of the other guys here. Anand's articles are always well thought and just seem more professional. Good job. I also appreciated the Mac Mini article yesterday. Keep it up. Reply
  • Dranzerk - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Good article, came out in the right time I was considering upgrading my ATI 9700 Pro/2.4ghz P4 to a athlon 64 or a 6600GT. Guess its the Nvidia 6600GT :D

    The only thing holding me back (others to) is the AGP vs PCIx deal, but with NF4 chipset with AGP it should be a no brainer now to just stick with old AGP card and have lot of life in it for time to come.
  • George Powell - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Awesome article. Made for a really good morning read.
  • morcegovermelho - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    There is an error on page 2. The value for athlon 3500+ at_coast_12 is 11.58.

    Great article

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