Some Test Cases

Our new benchmark wouldn't be very useful if we didn't have any test cases, would it? As we mentioned on the previous page, the average frames per second of a game might not reflect accurately what occurs in the game, even if the average results are very higher. Please note that we are anticipating a full benchmark of almost a dozen ATI and NVIDIA cards in the next few weeks - this is just a sample of what our benchmark utility is capable of. Both graphs below are taken with the same "radar" Wolfenstien radar timedemo.

Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory - GeForceFX 5950 Ultra

Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory - GeForceFX 5600SE

The graph below is just an overlay of the above two graphs.

Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory - Overlay

We can really see those dips in the graphs where some IO is occurring and bogging down the graphic cards. We have observed much unusual phenomenon on some of these demo graphs. One thing that we can immediately digest from the 5950 Ultra graph is the 90FPS ceiling - the card is more capable, but Wolfenstien is configured to limit the video card at 85FPS. Notice also that around the 73rd second, the FX5600 hits a local minimum while the FX5950 hits the 85FPS ceiling. We will discuss these sorts of details more with the preliminary video card roundup.

Oh, yes, and of course, we have this graph to show you too.

Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory Comparison

Average FPS graphs are fine, but if we really want to convey some thorough and hard data sampling, we have to use average FPS in conjunction with line plots.

Why Average Frames Per Second Can Be Misleading IQ Testing and Final Words


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  • quanta - Friday, October 01, 2004 - link

    If you are going to compare image quality, what is the basis of comparison? That means that a reference (software) renderer is needed. But even then, choosing right technique means ones need to draw extremely detailed scenes similar to CAD programs, but such renditions will be too slow. And of course, there's the issue of how to objectively define the 'right' way vs. 'wrong' way of optimization in ways that most can agree, and can be done by computers.

    In any case, we can't afford yet another GPU benchmark that is easily exploited (in bad ways, that is).
  • tygrus - Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - link

    Nice start.
    I get frustrated by companies that delay support for <5% of the market because of small numbers when its the lack of support that is causing the low numbers. If ATI improved the drivers for linux then more people would use their existing ATI cards under linux and more importantly more people will buy ATI for their linux system instead of Nvidia. It's the issue of "what came first, the chicken or the egg", when their attitude should be more like "build it and they will come".
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - link

    Just a quick question here, as I see a potential performance issue with the "hacked" OpenGL/SDL framerate utility. You mention that the software will automatically capture screen shots periodically. That ought to increase the demand on the HDD and potentially the rest of the system for brief instants when the screen captures are done. Hopefully there will be multiple benchmarking runs done, one with the screen captures and one without. Although, I suppose we have to see what sort of difference the screen captures actually make in performance first. :) Reply
  • raylpc - Saturday, September 25, 2004 - link

    I agree with fic. I'm going to buy a new AMD64 system and I will get Nvidia just because their linux support is way superior than ATi's, although ATi does make better cards. Reply
  • aaime - Saturday, September 25, 2004 - link

    I hope you can add some 2D benchmarks as well, since, for example, the 2D performance of the ATI drivers really suck! A 2D perf. benchmark should involve also use of Render, text antialiasing and such to be representative.
    Anyway, thank you, it's nice to see some attention to the Linux world from you :-)
  • fic - Friday, September 24, 2004 - link

    Probably the big reason that only 4% of owners of ATI cards run linux is that their support sucks. This is a self fulfilling thing. ATI doesn't support linux therefore if you are going to run linux you don't use ATI. I image that a huge percentage of linux users use Nvidia because they have decent drivers. Reply
  • Brule - Friday, September 24, 2004 - link

    Great article. That's why they call it computer "science". Looking forward to the results on a personal linux-using level as well. Reply
  • javalino - Friday, September 24, 2004 - link

    Well. I hope this type of benchmark didnt effect the continuos windows benchmarks. As the ATI said this week, 4% of owers of ati cards run linux, so, not much people want to see linux benchmarks, unless they are better than windows ones.
  • Illissius - Friday, September 24, 2004 - link

    Amazing. I've been looking for a tool like this for Linux for ages. Gimme now! Gimme now! Reply

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