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.
Default 3DMark06 settings were used for testing, so a resolution of 1280×1024 was used.
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.
Test Results: Notice that the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards actually beat 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. The Radeon HD 4870 beats the GeForce 9800 GTX+ even with PhysX enabled by over 11%. In CrossFire the Radeon HD 4870 stole the show with an impressive 13,576 score!
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 and the Radeon HD 4870 leads that card.
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. All the other cards averaged out to being roughly the same CPU score, which is correct.