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The Giga Battle

The Giga Test Systems

Platform Information
Graphics card for all testsNVIDIA GeForce 256120 MHz Core, 300 MHz DDR-RAM 32 MB
Hard Drive for all testsSeagate Barracuda ATA ST320430A
Giga Athlon
CPU for all testsAthlon 1 GHz
VIA Apollo KX133 Chipset
MotherboardVIA VT5249B1, BIOS January 2000
Memory128 MB, Enhanced Memory Systems PC133 HSDRAM CAS2
IDE InterfacePromise Ultra66 PCI card
Network3Com 3C905B-TX
AMD 750 'Irongate' Chipset
MotherboardAsus K7M, rev. 1.04, Chipset rev. C6, Super Bypass Enabled, ACPI BIOS 128 beta (02.03.2000), AGP2x enabled in GeForce driver (IrongateEnable2x=1)
Memory128 MB, Micron PC133 SDRAM CAS2
IDE InterfacePromise Ultra66 PCI card
Network3Com 3C905B-TX
Giga Pentium III
CPU for all testsIntel Pentium III 1 GHz, 133 MHz FSB
VIA Apollo Pro 133A Chipset
MotherboardAsus P3V4X, ACPI BIOS 1002 final, March 2000
Memory128 MB, Enhanced Memory Systems PC133 HSDRAM CAS2
IDE InterfacePromise Ultra66 PCI card
Network3Com 3C905B-TX
Intel 440 BX Chipset
MotherboardAsus P3B-F, ACPI BIOS 1005 beta 01, March 2000
Memory128 MB, Enhanced Memory Systems PC133 HSDRAM CAS2
IDE InterfacePromise Ultra66 PCI card
Network3Com 3C905B-TX
Intel 820 Chipset
MotherboardAsus P3C-L, ACPI BIOS 1020 beta 05, March 2000
Memory128 MB, Samsung PC800 RDRAM, RDRAM clock adjusted in BIOS
IDE Interfaceonboard
NetworkOnboard i82559
Driver Information
Graphics DriverNVIDIA 4.12.01.0508 pre-release
viagart.vxd for VIA Chipsets4in1 4.17AGP-driver 3.56
ATA DriverPromise Ultra66 driver rev. 1.43Intel Ultra ATA BM driver v5.00.038
Environment Settings
OS VersionsWindows 98 SE 4.10.2222 AScreen Resolution 1024x768x16x85Screen Resolution 1280x1024x32x85 for SPECviewperf
DirectX Version7.0
Quake 2Version 3.20command line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0Crusher demo, 640x480x16
Quake 3 ArenaRetail Versioncommand line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0Graphics detail set to 'Normal', 640x480x16Benchmark using 'Q3DEMO1'
ExpendableDownloadable Demo Versioncommand line = -timedemo640x480x16
Unreal TournamentVer. 4.05bhigh quality textures, medium quality skins, no tweaks640x480x16Benchmark using 'UTBench'.

NVIDIA's New Driver 5.08

In this test we used NVIDIA's new pre-release driver rev. 5.08, as available at www.reactorcritical.com . This driver vastly enhances GeForce's OpenGL-performance on all platforms and it removes the 'fast writes' bug of the driver rev. 3.68. At the same time the 5.08-driver reduces Direct3D-performance. I still decided to use it, because it shows a lot better performance on non-Intel platforms than previous ones. The frame rates of Quake 3 Arena, Quake 2 and SPECviewperf are up to 5% higher than before; the frame rates in Expendable and Unreal Tournament D3D are reduced however.

Office Application Performance Under Windows98SE

BAPCo's Sysmark2000 has become the de-facto standard for office application benchmarking. You can see it, Giga-Athlon does not score as high as Giga-Pentium III, but it's not too far behind. Athlon on KX133 is slightly faster than on Irongate with enabled SuperBypass. The Giga-Pentium III results are more interesting. They show once more that nothing can beat the good old Intel 440BX chipset even for Coppermine. VIA's Apollo Pro 133A is just as fast as Intel's i820 using the fast PC800 RDRAM, but both are far behind BX.