ATI Radeon HD 4850 Versus NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+

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3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware. 3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

3DMark Vantage

Default 3DMark06 settings were used for testing, so a resolution of 1280×1024 was used. 

3DMark Vantage PhysX Testing

It should be noted that the new GeForce 9800 GTX+ supports PhysX with an additional driver installation. With the NVIDIA PhysX driver v8.06.12 installed along with the Forceware 177.39 driver, the GeForce 9800 GTX, GTX 280 and GTX 260 video cards become physics processors. This new capability extends physics simulation beyond the limited capabilities of the CPU, enabling incredible performance scalability by leveraging the power of the graphics processor. Today you can test two applications to show off PhysX: 3DMark Vantage and Unreal Tournament 3.  We tested just the GeForce 9800 GTX+ with the new Physics driver to show off what it means for performance.

3DMark Vantage

Test Results:Notice that the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards actually beats out the NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ without the help of Physics. With Physics enabled the NVIDIA card with PhysX support gets a boost to the overall score thanks to the performance gained in the CPU test. The physics speedup carries a 25% weight on the final 3DMark score at the Performance Preset.

3DMark Vantage

Test Results:NVIDIA PhysX doesn’t make a difference in the game tests and the difference shown between having PhysX enabled and disabled is not significant. Notice the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 has a slight performance lead in the game tests.

3DMark Vantage

Test Results: We normally don’t include CPU tests in our video card benchmarks, but it looks like we might have to start. With the NVIDIA PhysX driver installed the CPU score on our system more than doubled from 12,254 to 33,504.

The age of having Physics enabled with just a single graphics card has arrived! What this means for gaming remains to be seen, but PhysX is the most popular physics API in the world with over 140 shipping titles across all major platforms including PC, Wii, Xbox360, and Playstation 3. This means that PhysX features will be available without the need for a discrete physics card like in the past. The original AGEIA PhysX graphics cards back in 2006 were discrete, so this is a huge improvement and will hopefully revolutionize gaming.

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