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    Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB Review
    By Vince Freeman :  November 29, 2007

    3DMark06 Advanced Performance

    3DMark06 Advanced is the latest version of this popular 3DMark series of gaming benchmarks from Futuremark, and is the first to showcase new HDR/SM3.0 and SM2.0 graphics tests, as well as offering multi-core tailored CPU tests. The Feature tests have also been enhanced for the newest 3D support, and helps provide reliable measurements for game hardware of today and tomorrow. This is one very serious performance test, which punishes cards that do not fully support HDR/SM3.0 or SM2.0, and really puts video hardware to the next-generation test. In this review, we will be concentrating on the individual benchmark tests covering fill rate, vertex and pixel shading, SM2.0/SM3.0 results, and the individual Shader Particles and Perlin Noise SM3.0 tests.

    3DMark06 Advanced Fill Rate Performance

    The first part of our 3DMark06 Advanced testing utilizes the Feature Test portion of the benchmark (at the standard 1280x1024 resolution), and concentrates on the Fill Rate performance. This chart shows the cards ranked by Fill Rate performance, with the number displayed representing MTexels/second.

    The Fill Rate benchmark tests show the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB posting average scores in the single-texturing test, but becoming much more competitive once we move to the multi-texturing side of things.

    3DMark06 Advanced Vertex and Pixel Shader Performance

    The 3DMark06 Advanced Pixel and Vertex Shader benchmark is another area that the advanced SM4.0 architecture of the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate can really pay dividends. The Sapphire card places second in both tests, falling to the GeForce 8600 GTS in the Vertex Shader tests, while losing a very close battle to the Radeon X1950 Pro in the Pixel Shader benchmark.

    3DMark06 Advanced SM2.0 & SM3.0/HDR Performance

    The SM2.0 & SM3.0/HDR benchmarking offer different results compared to the shader testing, and the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB offers SM2.0 performance on par with a GeForce 7900 GS, while pumping out SM3.0/HDR scores just shy of the GeForce 8600 GTS.

    3DMark06 Advanced Shader Particles & Perlin Noise SM3.0 Performance

    The last 3DMark section includes the Shader Particles and Perlin Noise benchmarks, which are both SM3.0 shader tests. The Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB again places second in both tests, losing to the usual suspects: the GeForce 8600 GTS and Radeon X1950 Pro. Please note that the ATI Radeon X1000 cards cannot complete the Shader particles testing and are given an "n/a" rating.



    Page 1 The Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB Card
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 DOOM 3 and Quake 4 Performance
    Page 4 Farcry and Supreme Commander Performance
    Page 5 F.E.A.R. and Company of Heroes Performance
    Page 6 Lost Planet and Crysis Performance
  • Page 7 3DMark06 Advanced Feature Performance
    Page 8 Benchmark Analysis, Value and Conclusion

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