We’ll start with the synthetic gaming test 3dMark 2006, where we immediately see a dramatic improvement in performance: the ViDock provides a tenfold increase in 3D gaming speed according to this benchmark! At this stage, it doesn’t look like the limitation of bandwidth from the ExpressCard bus is going to slow the ViDock down much. But 3dMark can be deceiving, so let’s have a look at an actual game title, such as Prey.
At 1024x768 with the texture detail set to medium and all other settings high, Prey becomes playable with the ViDock—managing an average frame rate of about 20 frames per second—but it’s certainly no speed demon. Even though there’s almost a 4x increase in performance over the integrated chipset, and the game is technically playable, it looks like maybe the ExpressCard bus is slowing things down quite a bit. But the verge of playable is better than not playable at all, so we’ll give the ViDock Pro credit where it’s due.
Now let’s move on to one of the most demanding games of all time: Crysis!
With all settings set to low detail at 1024x768, the ViDock Pro delivers a very playable 26 frames per second! This is a major victory for the ViDock, as the integrated chipset could barely achieve an unplayable 8 frames per second. But the Crysis visual goodness really begins at medium settings, so let’s see how the ViDock fares when we crank things up a notch…
Uh-oh. At medium settings the integrated chipset won’t even run Crysis, and the ViDock can only muster an unplayable 10 frames per second.
At this point we can see that the ViDock will supply passable first person shooter performance at 1024x768 assuming the details are turned down enough, which is quite an accomplishment compared to the integrated chipset, which couldn’t play games at 1024x768 to save its life. Let’s mix things up with the demanding real time strategy title, Supreme Commander:
Ouch! While the ViDock managed to double the frame rate of the integrated graphics, it’s somewhat of a pyrrhic victory: 4.4 frames per second is far from playable. While Supreme Commander is a CPU-dependent game, it should have been able to muster better frame rates than this with a dual-core Athlon, so we can’t give the ViDock a lot of credit here.œ
- Upgrading your Laptop
- ViDock Gfx PRO: Features and Specifications
- ViDock Gfx PRO: First impressions and examination
- Operating System Factors and Workarounds
- Limitations, Installation, Usability
- Test System and Configuration
- Game Benchmarks
- 3D Application and HD Video Playback Benchmarks
- Modifying the ViDock for use with other graphics cards: the Radeon 2600 XT and 3870