AGP Platform Analysis, Part 2: New Cards, Single-Core System

Test System And Methodology

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System Hardware
Processor(s)AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (Venice)2.2 GHz, 512k L2 cache
PlatformASrock 9393dual-SATA2 (socket 939)ULI 1695 chipset, BIOS v1.6
RAMPATRIOT EP1 x 1024 MB PC3500 (CL2.0-3-2-5)
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD1200JB120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB cache, UltraATA/100
NetworkingOn-board 100 Mb Ethernet
Graphics CardsSapphire Radeon X1950 PRO (AGP)512mb GDDR3Powercolor Radeon X1950 PRO (AGP)256mb GDDR3Leadtek Geforce 7600 GT (AGP)256mb GDDR3BFG Geforce 7800 GS (AGP)256mb GDDR3
Power SupplyUltra X-Connect , ATX, 550 W
System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Professional 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2
DirectX Version9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Platform DriverAMD Athlon 64 Processor Driver
Graphics DriverATI Catalyst 6.12, Nvidia Forceware 93.71

The test bed is an Asrock Dual-SATA2 motherboard with an Athlon64 3400+ CPU running at stock 2.2 GHz settings. The system has 1 GB of RAM, in single channel mode, and should be a relatively useful representation of a typical system and what it can do. Keep in mind that although this is a single-core CPU, there are almost no games out there coded to take advantage of dual cores, and so this CPU should closely represent even dual-core AthlonX2's in gaming scenarios.

In round two, the platform is notably more capable than the Round one platform, so we have included higher playable resolutions and levels of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.

Gaming Benchmarks

Futuremark 3dMark

Let's see what the 3dMarks have to say. First, the new benches from the Athlon64 3400+ system:

Let's compare those from the results we saw in round one, with the less powerful 2500+ CPU:

There are some very interesting results here. Note that the Geforce 7800 GS and 7600 GT scores have stayed relatively close on both systems, while the X1950 scores have really woken up on the faster processor. This is especially the case in 3dmark05, where the Sapphire X1950 PRO went from 6347 to 8477 3dmarks.