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The Graphics Chips Compared

Crossfire Meets PCI Express 2.0
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In this test we included all current graphics cards using the PCI Express 2.0 interface, such as Nvidia's Geforce 8800 GT and 8800 GTS 512, as well as ATI's Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 cards. We also decided to test the HD2900XT; even though it's still a PCIe 1.1 card, it remains ATI's fastest offering, making it an ideal choice to compare the performance results between the old and new testbed platforms.

We included the more recent Nvidia cards and SLI sets in this test for reference as well. Only Nvidia's Geforce 8800 GT and 8800 GTS 512 and ATI's Radeon HD3850 and HD3870 are already equipped with the PCI Express 2.0 interface.

NVIDIA Graphics Cards
Graphics Card and Chip Code Name Memory Shader GPU Frequency Memory Frequency
Geforce 8800 Ultra OC G80 768 MB GDDR3 4.0, 1512 MHz 660 MHz 2300 MHz
Geforce 8800 GTX G80 768 MB GDDR3 4.0, 1350 MHz 576 MHz 1800 MHz
Geforce 8800 GTS OC SLI G92 512 MB GDDR3 4.0, 1825 MHz 730 MHz 1944 MHz
Geforce 8800 GTS OC G92 512 MB GDDR3 4.0, 1825 MHz 730 MHz 1944 MHz
Geforce 8800 GT OC SLI G92 512 MB GDDR3 4.0, 1650 MHz 660 MHz 1900 MHz
Geforce 8800 GT OC G92 512 MB GDDR3 4.0, 1650 MHz 660 MHz 1900 MHz
ATI Graphics Cards
Graphics Card and Chip Code Name Memory Shader GPU Frequency Memory Frequency
Radeon HD3870 OC CF RV670 512 MB GDDR4 4.1 800 MHz 2252 MHz
Radeon HD3870 OC RV670 512 MB GDDR4 4.1 800 MHz 2252 MHz
Radeon HD3850 OC CF RV670 256 MB GDDR3 4.1 690 MHz 1658 MHz
Radeon HD3850 OC RV670 256 MB GDDR3 4.1 690 MHz 1658 MHz
Radeon HD2900 XT CF R600 512 MB GDDR3 4.0 743 MHz 1656 MHz
Radeon HD2900 XT R600 512 MB GDDR3 4.0 743 MHz 1656 MHz
Memory Frequency=physical frequency is half of stated frequency (DDR), OC=overclocked, SLI=parallel operation of Nvidia cards, CF=CrossFire parallel operation of 2 ATI cards
Single Nvidia Graphics Cards, Single- and Crossfire ATI Graphics Cards
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 2.93 GHz
FSB 1066 MHz
Motherboard Intel D975XBX2, PCIe 1.0a
Chipset Intel 975X
Memory 2x1 GByte, Vitesta DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 533 MHz
Hard Drive Hitachi 2 x 120 GByte S-ATA, Cache 8 MByte
DVD Gigabyte GO-D1600C
LAN Intel 1000 Pro
Audio Intel High Definition Audio
Power Supply Seasonic M12 600 Watt
Single Nvidia Graphics Cards, Single- and Crossfire ATI Graphics Cards
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 2.93 GHz
FSB 1066 MHz
Motherboard Asus P5E3 Deluxe, PCIe 2.0
Chipset Intel X38
Memory 2x1 GByte, Ballistix DDR3 800 5-5-5-16 800 MHz
Audio Intel High Definition Audio
Power Supply CoolerMaster RS-850-EMBA 850 Watt
Nvidia SLI Graphics Cards
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 2.93 GHz
FSB 1066 MHz
Motherboard Nvidia 680i SLI
Chipset Nvidia 680i SLI
Drivers & Configuration
Graphics ATI Catalyst 7.11
Nvidia Forceware 169.12, 8800 GTS 512 MSI 169.06
Operating System Windows Vista Enterprise
DirectX 10
Chipset Driver Intel 975BX2 Intel 8.2.0.1014, X38 Intel 8.3.1.1009
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