Test Setup and Power Performance

Our testing methodology was to try and cover a lot of ground with top to bottom hardware. Including the X1300 through the X1800 line required quite a few different cards and tests to be run. In order to make it easier to look at the data, rather than put everything for each game in one place as we normally do, we have broken up our data into three separate groups: Budget, Midrange, and High End.

We used the latest drivers we had available which are both beta drivers. From NVIDIA, the 81.82 drivers were tested rather than the current release as we expect the rel 80 drivers to be in the end users hands before the X1000 series is easy to purchase.

All of our tests were done on this system:

ATI Radeon Express 200 based system
AMD Athlon 64 FX-55
1GB DDR400 2:2:2:8
120 GB Seagate 7200.7 HD
600 W OCZ PowerStreams PSU

The resolutions we tested range from 800x600 on the low end to 2048x1536 on the high end. The games we tested include:
  • Day of Defeat: Source
  • Doom 3
  • EverQuest 2
  • Far Cry
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
  • The Chronicles of Riddick
We were interested in testing the FEAR demo, but after learning that the final version would change the performance characteristics of the game significantly, we decided it would be best to wait until we had a shipping game. From what we hear, the FEAR demo favors ATI's X1000 series considerably over NVIDIA hardware, but performance will be much closer in the final version.

Before we take a look at the performance numbers, here's a look at the power draw of various hardware.

Load Power


As we can see, this generation draws about as much power as previous generatation products under load at the high end and midrange. The X1300 Pro seems to draw a little more power than we would like to see in a budget part. The card also sports a fan that is just as loud as the X1600 XT. Considering that some of the cards we tested against the X1300 Pro were passively cooled, this is something to note.

Adaptive AA Budget Performance
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  • DerekWilson - Friday, October 7, 2005 - link

    Hello,

    Rather than update this article with the tables as we had planned, we decided to go all out and collect enough data to build something really interesting.

    http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2556">http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2556

    Our extended performance analysis should be enough to better show the strengths and weaknesses of the X1x00 hardware in all the games we tested in this article plus Battlefield 2.

    I would like to apologize for not getting more data together in time for this article, but I hope the extended performance tests will help make up for what was lacking here.

    And we've got more to come as well -- we will be doing an in-depth follow up on new feature performance and quality as well.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson
    Reply
  • MiLLeRBoY - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    If NVIDIA puts out a 7800XT with a bigger cooler, which makes the video card dual slots, instead of just one slot. This would allow them to increase the speeds of the RAM and GPU. And if they increase it to 512MB ram, they will knock ATI’s X1800XT off the map completely. Reply
  • MiLLeRBoY - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    oops, 7800 GTX, I mean, lol. Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    Maybe a solution for all the complaints about review-quality would be for AnandTech to put its reviews through "beta"? :p Reply
  • waldo - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    So, I am back, and as always confused!

    Where are we now? We have at THG the same card beating teh 7800GTX hands down in several instances....and here at Anand, we have the ATI version barely holding its head above water.....talk about weird inconsistencies....someone is tweaking the numbers or the machines....one or the other.

    Some of me would like to give the nod to THG because they have a history of doing more accurate more complete video card reviews, but this is just crazy....can someone at Anand please explain, cause well, I know THG won't.
    Reply
  • tomoyo - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    In terms of pricing, I think Nvidia has Ati beaten in every category of card currently.

    I think the competition that ATI is marketing each card against is as follows(even if the prices have a huge disparity currently):
    X1800XT vs 7800GTX
    X1800XL vs 7800GT
    X1600XT vs 6800/6600GT
    X1600Pro vs 6600GT/6600
    x1300Pro vs 6600
    x1300 vs 6200

    From what I've seen of the reviews from anandtech, techreport, and a couple other sources it looks like the X1800XT/XL are pretty competitive with their competition, however I really dislike the extra power consumption and of course the cost of the card. I think the 7800 is a far better solution in terms of most categories except a few minor features like having HDR/AA at the same time. It looks like it's possible the X1800 might have some gains in future games because of the better memory controller and threading pixel shader, but it seems rather useless for now.

    The x1600 looks like the biggest disappointment by far. It's nowhere near the league of the 6800 cards and barely outperforms the 6600gt, which has a huge price advantage. The x800gto2 looks like a far better card than the x1600 here. Personally I'm hoping nvidia does what's expected and puts out a 90nm 7600 that has a decent performance gain over the 6600gt. That might be one of the best silent computing cards around when it comes out. (I'm hoping to replace my 6600 with this now that the x1600 is no upgrade for me)

    The x1300 actually looks like the most promising chip to me. It's obviously not worthwhile for gamers, but I think it might turn out to be a pretty good drop-in card for non-gaming systems. It's all dependent on whether it can hit the price point for the under $100(or is that under $70) market well. It certainly looks like it'll outperform the 6200 and x300 and be the new standard for entry level systems... until nvidia's next entry card. Not to mention most of the x1x00 generation features are still included with the x1300 card.
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    Totaly disappointed in both ATi and AT.

    As for X1300 don't forget this is the best version out of X1300 family and I can't help but remember the FX 5200 Ultra, which looked great but was never really available, because they could not produce it at low enough price point. I think same will happen here.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    Very nice summary. Reply
  • andyc - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    So what card is the "real" competitor to the 7800GT, becuase frankly, I'm totally confused which card ATI is trying to use to compete against it. Reply
  • Pete - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    X1800XL. Reply

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