AMD: 2D Performance Progress in Windows 7 With Catalyst 10.4?

The ‘Task Manager Paradox’ In Windows 7

In direct graphics output to the display, we noticed that the results deviated from the average here and there, despite identical hardware and identical test conditions, but then later leveled back to the same results again. We tried to reconstruct this paradox and things pointed us to the Task Manager.

After our first two articles, we received countless emails reporting connections between the irregular test results and having the Task Manager open. Therefore, we chose the term ‘Task Manager paradox’ as a working title for this issue. We used our test system to compare the overall results in our Tom2D benchmark, using cards from both graphics companies. We did five runs on each, with and without the Task Manager open. The results confirm the initial assumptions quite clearly:

This simple test shows that having the Task Manager open leads to reproducible higher benchmark results for both graphic cards. We found that the consolidated 2D performance increases of the Nvidia card were greater than those of the ATI card. We realize that this statement is way too general, so we had a closer look at each of the benchmark subcategories. Test candidate number one is our ATI Radeon HD 5870:

Only the two values for the polygons and the stretching are considerably different on the Radeon HD 5870. The other results are at approximately the same level as without the Task Manager. As seen in the previous graph, the overall combined difference is so small that it is irrelevant.

Next, we tested the Nvidia card and were curious to find out what benchmark sub categories resulted in the 17% overall performance increase. The results are somewhat surprising:

Compared to the Radeon HD 5870, the GeForce GTX 285 sees an even higher performance increase in the polygon and stretching tests, as well as a staggering 72% extra blitting performance.

But what is the explanation behind the very significant performance improvements in some of these tests? Looking at the features that Windows 7 can actually accelerate in hardware, only blitting and stretching are affected. The polygon performance, which showed a nice bump as well, does not fit in here. And the Task Manager in itself is a bad explanation. Clearly, there has to be another reason.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
54 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • Anonymous
    Keep doing those 2D testing. It's important for many users.
    15
  • Poisoner
    the greater goodTA152H, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


    What was insane about his post?
    13
  • Onus
    Just because he applied the sarcasm with a mortar rather than a butter knife does not make TA152H's post insane.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • ta152h
    Well, Microsoft creating an even slower operating system than their previous one is a company tradition. Bloated, slow, buggy software is something they take seriously, and it's not up to companies like AMD or Nvidia to take this privilege from Microsoft. People like it - they keep buying it.

    It's a pity OS/2 never made it. Windows needs real competition. Look what the K8 did to Intel.
    0
  • The Greater Good
    TA152H, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
    -24
  • Anonymous
    Lines, ellipses, and polygons are rarely, if ever, used in window system toolkits from the last 5-7 years. You will likely never see them used other than in specialized benchmarks. They are an API vestige of days long past.
    -3
  • Anonymous
    Am I missing something? 10.5 is the most recent
    2
  • Poisoner
    the greater goodTA152H, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


    What was insane about his post?
    13
  • Anonymous
    Does Catalyst 10.5 bring anything new to the table?
    10
  • spidey180
    Keep up the good work ATI.
    10
  • FUtomNOreg
    Now where did I put that PCMag Winbench CD?????
    5
  • outlw6669
    Quote:
    Does Catalyst 10.5 bring anything new to the table?

    You can now over/underclock while running multiple displays without tearing on the second monitor....
    Other than that, looks to be just a few minor bug fixes.
    3
  • neiroatopelcc
    PoisonerWhat was insane about his post?

    just everything


    @ toms - nice article as usual.
    -13
  • crazybaldhead
    Yes, this article needs to be updated for 10.5. Also with the newest drivers, my 4870's GPU clock idles at 600 Mhz and not at 450 Mhz like it used to.
    Upping the idle clock frequencies is not a solution to the 2d performance problem, more like a *simple* workaround.
    0
  • Onus
    Just because he applied the sarcasm with a mortar rather than a butter knife does not make TA152H's post insane.
    12
  • Anonymous
    Keep doing those 2D testing. It's important for many users.
    15
  • cushgod
    10.5 Catalyst is out. Is that even better? Maybe a follow up article.
    1
  • juliom
    crazybaldheadYes, this article needs to be updated for 10.5. Also with the newest drivers, my 4870's GPU clock idles at 600 Mhz and not at 450 Mhz like it used to. Upping the idle clock frequencies is not a solution to the 2d performance problem, more like a *simple* workaround.


    Since you don't even know that the 4870 idles at 500 MHz (not 450), double check the 600 MHz you think you saw.
    0
  • invlem
    the greater goodTA152H, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


    ... Now I'm going to have to watch that movie again (Billy Madison)
    1
  • sohei
    competition is good ...bravo ATI
    1
  • misry
    Cushgod10.5 Catalyst is out. Is that even better? Maybe a follow up article.


    While it is only an incremental u/g it is still worth taking. From a practical standpoint, I found 10.4 made the installation of a (no cost) 4350 card to supplant my built-in 4200 chip "worth it". Prior to 10.4 I seemed to get better performance from the 4200. Afterward, while performance remains the same, given a high side margin of error, using the 4350 now notably off-loads tasks from the CPU *and* frees system memory.
    0
  • warezme
    spidey180Keep up the good work ATI.

    they fix a bug that shouldn't have been there to begin with?
    -11
  • crazybaldhead
    Anonymous said:
    Since you don't even know that the 4870 idles at 500 MHz (not 450), double check the 600 MHz you think you saw.


    Hate to give in to trolls, but hey, here you go;

    1