The web ether had barely dried on our first test results of the GeForce 6100 when ATI contacted AnandTech to question our test results. We had run the ATI RS480/482 benchmarks on an ATI Grouper Reference Board with integrated ATI graphics. ATI's own internal test results were quite different with Radeon Xpress 200 boards from those that we had published. They showed the RS480/482 outperforming the new GeForce 6100 chipset in most of the same benchmarks. Since we are always interested in bringing you the facts regarding component performance, we agreed to work with ATI to try to find what was wrong.

After quite a bit of sleuthing, ATI discovered that the BIOS of the Grouper Reference Board, which was designed for Enthusiast and Overclocking qualification, did not completely implement or optimize the features of the on-board RS482 Graphics. There were also issues with integrated 480/482 graphics switches in BIOS. After further testing in their lab to verify performance comparable to shipping ATI RS480/482 boards, ATI sent an updated BIOS and asked if we could retest performance with a new Radeon Xpress 200 BIOS that fully implemented integrated graphics.

We reran all benchmarks on the ATI Grouper Integrated Graphics and updated the comparisons to the NVIDIA GeForce 6100/nForce 410 on the Biostar TForce 6100 motherboard.

RS482 versus RS480


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  • johnsonx - Friday, October 07, 2005 - link

    Since the only testing we have for Xpress 200 with Sideport Memory was done nearly a year ago on pre-release reference hardware, with early drivers and on only 2 games at one resolution, perhaps some new tests are in order? (as always, easy for me to say since I don't have to do any of the work!)

    The complete AMD integrated video test, which would be very informative:

    Socket 939 & 754 GeForce6100
    Socket 939 & 754 GeForce6150
    Socket 939 & 754 Xpress200
    Socket 939 & 754 Xpress200 w/32Mb Sideport (UMA interleaved)
    Socket 754 K8M800
    Socket 754 760GX

    For processors, it should be Sempron64 2600+ (on 754), Athlon64 3200+ (on both 754 & 939), and finally Athlon64 4000+ (on 939). That'd be two CPUs for each board.

    So that's 20 board/cpu/video memory configurations. No sweat, right?

    What's the point of all this testing? Simple. Which platform gives the best integrated gfx performance and which gives the best integrated graphics value? Is the ATI Sideport Memory worth the added cost ($20) vs UMA alone?

  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link


    Any idea when the 6150 based boards will be available? Also, any info on DFI 6150 boards?
  • johnsonx - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Yeah, you're right... the JetWay RS480 PRO boards all have 32Mb of dedicated video RAM.

    Anandtech, please test!

    Is there any info on whether GeForce 6100 boards can or will be equipped with dedicated RAM as well?
  • Cybercat - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the reference grouper board they were using did have a small bit of dedicated memory onboard.

    And since NVIDIA was the first with the memory fetching technique (TurboCache) I would think they could do it with their chipset as well. However it may be that TurboCache isn't a completely driver-enabled feature like HyperMemory is with ATI. The other problem is that in order to incorporate some dedicated memory, it requires quite a bit of extra space on the board, and when dealing with mini-ATX, you don't have a lot of space to work with. Many board makers don't see the speed boost as a worthwhile justification for the extra leveraging they would have to do, considering that most onboard is only there for 2D functionality primarily, with little consideration for 3D performance given the sort of market the chipset is aimed at.
  • johnsonx - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    As near as I can tell from consulting several past AT articles concerning the Grouper reference board, it looks like it does NOT have Sideport memory. The original Bullhead board did have 16Mb sideport memory, and the AT article for that board even included benches of various memory configs (">here). None of the articles that mention the Grouper board mention Sideport, and I don't see any memory chips in the photos of the Grouper board (or of the Sapphire Pure Innovation board, which follows the Grouper reference design). The chip was easy to spot on the original Bullhead board photos, as they are on the Jetway board photos.

    Perhaps Wesley could clarify whether the Grouper board being tested does or does not have Sideport memory?
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Read the article Wesley referred to. You gain at most 2 fps with the 16MB of sideport memory on the ATI board. Reply
  • johnsonx - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    if 2d is the only issue, save your money and buy Via K8M800 or SiS 760GX... ATI and Nvidia market these things as 3d, and they do a pretty competent job of it as well.

    as to all the extra space required, it appears to be only 2 small memory chips. They're almost tough to spot on the Jetway Pro boards.

  • HarbingerM - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    So it looks like they are compareing a $75 tforce 6100 vs $95 Xpress 200">

    That so with price added the 6100 dose not look that bad compared to geting a xpress 200 with sideport. If they would test it UMA only then I think the 6100 might be much more ahead. Toms did some testing with the 3 setings of sideport memory and thier board only had 16M and there was a noticable difrence in game and in GUI because of not stealing all of the cpu memory bandwith. With the price difrence of $20 it is hard to go with the xpress200 it lacks so much. And if the benchmarks where on a board with 32M sideport it make the tforce6100 that much better. If not it put them at the same preformance level. So that only the features like full speed USB and SATA300.
  • yacoub - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Worst photoshop of a "2" ever. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    I was embarrassed by my "2" so I redid it :-) At the last minute ATI told me they didn't have any usable images of the RS482, so I did a 2-minute improvise. After your comment I did it as it should have been in Photoshop. Reply

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