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Test Setup

Aquanox - Bringing 3D To Its Knees
By
Intel Hardware
Socket 478
Processor Intel Pentium 4/1800 MHz (400 MHz QDR FSB)
Motherboard ASUS P4T-E (I850) Revision: 1.00
Memory 256 MB 400 MHz RDRAM
AMD Hardware
Socket 462
Processor AMD Athlon 1333 MHz
266 MHz DDR
Motherboard MSI K7 Master-S (MS-6341)
AMD 761
Memory 256 MB DDR-SDRAM, PC2100, CL2.0
Graphic Cards
NVIDIA GeForce2 Ultra Chip-Clock: 250 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 230 MHz
NVIDIA Reference Driver v23.11
NVIDIA Geforce2 Ti Chip-Clock: 250 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 200 MHz
NVIDIA Reference Driver v23.11
NVIDIA Geforce2 MX400 Chip-Clock: 200 MHz
Memory: 64 MB SD-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 166 MHz
NVIDIA Reference Driver v23.11
NVIDIA GeForce2 Pro Chip-Clock: 200 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 200 MHz
NVIDIA Reference Driver v23.11
PowerVR Kyro II Chip-Clock: 175 MHz
Memory: 64 MB SD-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 175 MHz
Driver v1.00.09.0031
NVIDIA GeForce3 Chip-Clock: 200 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 230 MHz
NVIDIA Reference Driver v23.11
NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti200 Chip-Clock: 175 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 200 MHz
NVIDIA Reference Driver v23.11
NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti500 Chip-Clock: 240 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 250 MHz
NVIDIA Reference Driver v23.11
ATI RADEON 7200 Chip-Clock: 183 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 366 MHz
ATI-Driver: V7189 (Win98)
ATI-Driver: V3276 (WinXP)
ATI RADEON 7500 Chip-Clock: 290 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 460 MHz
ATI-Driver: V7189 (Win98)
ATI-Driver: V3276 (WinXP)
ATI RADEON 8500 Chip-Clock: 275 MHz
Memory: 64 MB DDR-SDRAM
Memory-Clock: 550 MHz
ATI-Driver: V7206 (Win98)
ATI-Driver: V3286 (WinXP)
Drivers & Software
AGP (AMD) Miniport Driver 4.80 (Win98SE)
DirectX Version 8.1
OS Windows 98 SE, Version 4.10.2222 A
Windows XP Pro(V2002)
Aquanox Version v1.17, Timedemo Magelan


Currently, beta drivers which fix these problems are available on the web. But be warned: these are not official drivers and, as such, are not supported by ATi.

Benchmarks - Level: Magellan

The Pentium 4 benchmarks were run both in Windows 98SE (red) and Windows XP Professional (green). Since no real differences are expected, the Athlon tests (blue) were run only in Windows 98.

800x600-32 : Thanks to their higher clock speed, the GeForce3 cards grab the lead. The RADEON 8500 is close on the heels of the Ti500, though. The performance differences of the ATi cards in Win98SE and WinXP are interesting. The GeForce2 cards show no such phenomenon, offering nearly identical performance in both operating systems, across the board. The RADEON 7500 follows at a respectable distance, trailed by the RADEON 7200 (the graphics card formerly known as RADEON DDR 64 MB ViVo). The GF2 MX barely makes the magical 25fps barrier, but the Kyro II is already on its knees, crawling along at 20fps. We can safely say that the game is not playable on either of these two cards, even at this resolution.

Benchmarks - Level: Magellan, Continued

1024x768-32 : As we increase the resolution, we see the Ti500 now tied for the lead with the RADEON 8500. Slowly but surely, memory bandwidth, not raw processing power, is becoming the deciding factor in this race. Consequently, the field now shows a clearer ranking, with the GeForce2 Ultra outrunning the Ti and the Pro. The R7500 can also close the gap to the GF2 group, threatening the slower models. Unsurprisingly, the MX400 and Kyro II continue to drag behind - the game is completely unplayable. They are not alone though, as the R7200 now shares their fate. It, too, can no longer pass the 25fps mark.

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