Direct3D/DX10 Cards Added To The Charts
Twice each year, we round up the current graphics cards on the market and put them through a full battery of tests. Over the past two years, the power struggle for the enthusiast market has shifted back and forth, but with the launch of the 8000 series by Nvidia, the scales are clearly tilted in its favor.
The world is still waiting for the rebuttal from the recently acquired ATI, as AMD prepares to launch the R600. From what we can tell, the high end market will continue to flip flop depending on the benchmark, but the interesting activity should be with the mid and low range cards. This should prove to be a buyers' market, as the consumer will have many products focused on giving solid performance within a modest budget.
Last year we introduced our interactive charts; shoppers have found the charts to be a helpful aid, because they put a performance value on each card. They also assist gamers by demonstrating how specific games will play on particular cards. For our current set of charts, we include up to the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX, but not cards based on the G84 and G86 processors - we did not have them in time for completion of the charts. AMD/ATI is getting ready to launch its next family of graphics processors, so we will revisit the charts in the future to include Nvidia's and AMD's latest offerings, once they are available on the market.
It can take a long time to test such a vast number of cards in single and dual configurations. In order to limit our scope, we continue to limit the resolution spectrum to what most people use, which is either 1024x768 or 1280x1024. LCD panels have introduced widescreen resolutions, so we have added 1920x1200 for those who are contemplating getting new screens, or wish to purchase new graphics cards to drive their existing panels.
Like you, we are eagerly awaiting the upcoming DX10 enabled titles, which we will continue to include as soon as we can. For now the current list of titles includes:
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos
We have broken the charts into two sections: single and multi processor. This seemed to be a better solution than having many cards in the listings. From some of the feedback from readers, this should make finding what you are looking for a bit easier. If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to let us know at any time.
Finally, we would like to point out that this will probably be the last time we have a graphics card utilizing an Advanced Graphics Port (AGP), as most motherboard manufacturers no longer build boards to meet that specification.