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CPU MOTHERBOARD TECH VIDEO REVIEWS

BUDGET VIDEO CARD ROUNDUP 2003

"In this article we compare four budget (sub 80) video cards which are Gainward GeForce4 MX 440, Visiontek GeForce3, Sapphire Radeon 9000 and Sapphire Radeon 9000 Pro. They were tested using the powerfull AMD Athlon XP 1700 (Thoroughbred) processor and Asus A7S333 (SIS745) motherboard. Software used for benchmarking was 3dmark 2001 SE, Quake 3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Serious Sam SE and Unreal Tournament 2003."

GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440

GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440

"The Gainward GeForce4 video card offers the most advanced 3D technology. Featuring Gainward's High-performance hardware design specially developed to take the most advantage of the ultra fast memory. Another important key feature of Gainward GeForce4 PowerPack! Pro series are its High-Definition Video Processor, which enables a variety of crystal-clear HDTV solutions when combined with a mainstream CPU and a low-cost DTV receiver. The Gainward GeForce4 uses the nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 chipset running at 270mhz and with 64MB 4ns DDR memory running at 400mhz."

VISIONTEK GEFORCE3

VISIONTEK GEFORCE3

"The Visiontek GeForce3 features the NV20 core running at 200mhz and it has 64mb memory running at 460mhz which delivers 7.36 MB bandwidth. The Visiontek GeForce3 features a wide range of new technologies which are:- nfiniteFXTM Engine Enables dynamic, breakthrough effects, which deliver the next leap in realism to 3D graphics. Users will experience a virtually infinite number of special effects via the Vertex Shader and Pixel Shader engine components. Vertex Shader Injects personality into characters and scenes by allowing characters to move and show facial emotion, materials to stretch, and scenes to come alive. Pixel Shader Creates ambiance with materials and surfaces that mimic reality. Pixel shaders alter lighting and surface effects that replace artificial, computerized looks with high-impact organic surfaces. Lightspeed Memory ArchitectureTM Makes the fastest GPU ever produced, and generates the power to deliver earth-shattering performance at all resolutions. High-Resolution Antialiasing (HRAA) Produces the best visual quality and performance for all applications. HRAA delivers a high level of detail and crisp, clean lines at high frame rates, featuring the Quincunx AA mode."

SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000

SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000

"Sapphire Radeon 9000 delivers the most advanced features, thereby increasing the lifespan of your PC by integrating early adoption of tomorrow's technologies and still remaining affordable. Reanimate those titles of old with features such as Trueform, Smartshader and Smoothvision. Sapphire Radeon 9000 features 64MB DDR memory to accelerate the latest 3D games, 128-bit DDR memory interface provides end users with fast graphics performance, Support for AGP2X/4X, Quad-pipe architecture: Four parallel rendering pipelines to power the most challenging applications with amazing speed, Programmable pixel and vertex shaders: Smartshader technology takes advantage of the advanced new features in DirectX 8.1 and means even the newest and most advanced 3D games will be fully supported and High-Performance Anisotropic Filtering: Radeon 9000 delivers excellent image quality with Smoothvision."

SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO

"Sapphire Radeon 9000 Pro supports all of today's features and blazes a trail for the adoption of tomorrow's technologies. Possessing the power to sow detail rich environments, with features such as Trueform, Smartshader and Smoothvision, enjoy tomorrow's technology today. Best-of-class* 3D Gaming Performance, Powered by Ati's Radeon 9000 Pro graphics technology, Four parallel, highly optimized rendering pipelines deliver fastest gaming performance in its class, Features up to 128MB of DDR memory to accelerate all popular 3D games, Advanced visual quality, Smartshader technology supports DirectX 8.1 and enables more complex and realistic lighting effects, Smoothvision full-scene anti-aliasing technology delivers smoother-looking images, Progressive anisotropic filtering technology provides sharp and clear textures without sacrificing frame rates, Industry-leading video technology and software support, Features Video Immersion II technology for unprecedented video quality, Fullstream, ATI's new video acceleration technology enhances the quality of video by removing blocky artifacts and delivering smoother-looking content at all resolutions, Supports dual display configurations with Hydravision software and Catalyst software provides industry's most stable 3D acceleration support."


NAME CHIPSET GPU SPEED MEMORY UK PRICE US PRICE
GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440 Nv17 270mhz 64Mb 400mhz DDR 43 $53
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 R200 250mhz 64mb 400mhz DDR 57 $60
VISIONTEK GEFORCE3 Nv20 200mhz 64Mb 460mhz DDR 78 $89
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO R200 275mhz 64mb 550mhz DDR 75 $72

GENERAL SYSTEM INFORMATION

PROCESSOR AMD ATHLON XP 1700
VIDEO CARD GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440
VISIONTEK GEFORCE3
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO
ATI DRIVER CATALYST v3.1
NVIDIA DRIVER FORCEWARE v43.45
MOTHERBOARD ASUS A7S333
MEMORY 512MB SAMSUNG PC2100 DDR
OPERATING SYSTEM WINDOWS XP
DIRECTX VERSION v9.0

3DMARK 2001 SE GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440 SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 VISIONTEK GEFORCE3 SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO
3DMARK 5499 6259 6891 6650
GAME 1 CAR CHASE (LQ) 102 89 103 96
GAME 1 CAR CHASE (HQ) 39 39 39 39
GAME 2 DRAGOTHIC (LQ) 99 98 103 107
GAME 2 DRAGOTHIC (HQ) 45 54 57 58
GAME 3 LOBBY (LQ) 93 96 104 101
GAME 3 LOBBY (HQ) 44 46 48 47
GAME 4 NATURE N/A 32 45 37
FILL RATE (SINGLE-TEXTURING) 443 510 668 608
FILL RATE (MULTI-TEXTURING) 846 988 1384 1085
HIGH POLYGON COUNT (1 LIGHT) 29 20 25 21
HIGH POLYGON COUNT (8 LIGHTS) 6 5 5 5
ENVIROMENT BUMP MAPPING N/A 120 107 133
DOT3 BUMP MAPPING 66 63 103 72
VERTEX SHADER 49 67 42 71
PIXEL SHADER N/A 93 78 102
ADVANCED PIXEL SHADER N/A 74 65 79
POINT SPRITES 10 14 15 15
COMMENT "The Gainward GeForce4 MX 440 puts in a good performance but it's lack of Pixel Shaders means it's final score is much lower than the other video cards. The Visiontek GeForce3 delivered the highest score and the best game results. The only faults are the poor Vertex Shader and Pixel Shader performance. Sapphire Radeon 9000 had average game results however Sapphire Radeon 9000 performed well in the Pixel and Vertex Shader tests. Sapphire Radeon 9000 Pro although beaten by the Visiontek GeForce3 it still performed very well. As seen with Sapphire Radeon 9000 the Vertex Shader and Pixel Shader performance is excellent with the ATI Radeon 9000 GPU."

QUAKE 3

800x600

GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440174
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000174
VISIONTEK GEFORCE3174
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO174

1024x768

GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440141
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000140
VISIONTEK GEFORCE3161
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO155

1280x1024

GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440120
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000117
VISIONTEK GEFORCE3145
SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO134

GAINWARD GEFORCE4 MX 440 SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000
VISIONTEK GEFORCE3 SAPPHIRE RADEON 9000 PRO

BENCHMARK SETTINGS

Four.dm68 Benchmark
32Bit Colour Depth
Texture Compress Disabled
Lightmap Lighting
High Geometric Detail
Full Texture Detail
Trilinear Texture Filtering

COMMENT "Gainward GeForce4 MX 440 delivered a good solid performance with very playable frame rates. Sapphire Radeon 9000 lost to Gainward GeForce4 MX 440 but the difference was very small. Visiontek GeForce3 gave great performance and managed to finish 11fps ahead of Sapphire Radeon 9000 Pro at 1280x1024 resolution. Sapphire Radeon 9000 Pro finished second to the Visiontek GeForce3 but it was a fairly close."

BUDGET VIDEO CARD ROUNDUP 2003

PAGE 1 BUDGET VIDEO CARD ROUNDUP 2003 INTRODUCTION
PAGE 2 QUAKE 3 AND SERIOUS SAM SE
PAGE 3 UT 2003 AND SERIOUS SAM SE

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