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ATI's Radeon 2600 XT Remixed

Test Setup & Methodology

System Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core Duo e4300 @ 2.25 GHz, 1400 FSB, 2 MB Cache
MotherboardASUS P5B, BIOS: 1604
RAMWintec Ampo PC2-6400, 2x 1024 MB, CAS 5.0-5-5-16
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar WD2500JS250 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA 300
NetworkingRealtec onboard RTL8168/8111 Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics CardsPowercolor Radeon 2600 XT, 256 MB RAMSapphire Radeon 2600 XT Ultimate, 256 MB RAMNvidia GeForce 8600 GT, 256 MB RAM
Power SupplyThermaltake Toughpower 1200w
System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600
DirectX Version9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Platform DriverIntel INF
Graphics DriverATI Catalyst 7.8Nvidia ForceWare 162.18

First off, I'd like to make it clear that we chose to limit testing to Windows XP and DirectX 9. The amount of folks with both Vista and a DirectX 10 card out there is still relatively miniscule at this time, and we'll cover the DirectX 10 angle in the future when there's a little more meat on the subject - specifically, when Crysis is released.

The Sapphire and Powercolor flavors of the 2600 XT have identical clock speeds and any performance differences were within the margin of error in our testing. To eliminate redundancy and make the graphs easy to read, we only published one set of results for the 2600 XT.

The test system is running an e4300 processor, with a very mild overclock to 2.25 GHz to simulate processors a little higher on the food chain.