by Rob Williams on December 12, 2006 in Graphics & Displays

If you are looking for a card around the $200 mark, then be sure to see the performance of the X1950PRO first! This particular card retails for less than the 7900GT in which it competes, but which takes the top spot?

Page 3 – Testing Methodology, Half-Life 2

Throughout all of our benchmarks regardless of what we are reviewing, testing is done in a clean and stand-alone version of Windows XP Professional with SP2. Prior to testing, these conditions are met:

  • Desktop and scrap files are cleaned up, including emptying of recycle bin.
  • No virus scanner or firewall is installed in the stand-alone installation.
  • The stand-alone installation drive is completely defragged using Diskeeper 2007 Professional.
  • All unnecessary programs are closed, so that Windows should have no more than 15 active processes running.
  • Computer has proper airflow.

The testing rig used for today’s benchmarking is as follows:

  • CPU: AMD Windsor 4600+ EE @ 2.4GHz
  • Motherboard: DFI NF590 SLI-M2R/G (829 BIOS)
  • Memory: Kingston PC2-8000 2GB @ DDR2-800 4-4-4-12
  • Video: ASUS EAX1950PRO, ASUS EN7900GT
  • Sound: Onboard HD Audio
  • Storage: Seagate 7200.9 320GB
  • Etcetera: Windows XP Professional w/ SP2
  • Cooling: Corsair Nautilus 500

In regards to overclocking, I did not get as far as I had hoped, but the results were not that shabby. The default clocks on the card is 571MHz/702MHz, and my max overclock before be a GPU recovery prompt was 598MHz/724MHz (1.45GHz). Nothing to brag about, but it’s there for the taking!

For our testing today we will be using 5 current games, including Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Call of Duty 2, Oblivion, Ghost Recon: AW and Need for Speed: Carbon. For those who enjoy them, 3D Mark 01, 05 and 06 results are also included.

Half-Life 2: Episode 1

Half-Life 2 is by far one of the best games of all time. Even though the game has been out for over two years, it proves to be as fun as the day it was released. This could be just because I am a fanboy though. I’ve put many hours into this particular game for benchmarking, and -still- don’t get bored when it’s loaded up. That’s some staying power!

Since Episode 1 was released this past summer, it became the new standard and replaced the original version for GPU testing. One of my favorite levels in the game is c17_02a, which starts you off in a dimly lit hallway. You make your way through to the roof and, after seeing a friendly get killed, you must take out the airship with the rocket launcher. This is one of the best parts of the game and is very rewarding.

The settings we use for HL2: Episode 1 are easy… all options on high, AA on 4x and AF at 8x. Throughout this test and all the ones coming, we bench both with 1280×1024 and the widescreen resolution of 1680×1050.

The EN7900GT came out on top overall here, ignoring the more expensive EN7950GT. At our highest resolution of 1680×1050 though, both cards were right on par with the 1950 having a better minimum frame rate. Great performance here.

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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