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 ASUS EN8600GT 256MB with average scores, and sticking incredibly close to what the Radeon HD 2600 XT produces. The GeForce 7600 GT process surprisingly tough in this benchmark, but again, the DirectX 10 designs are less suited to pure horsepower tests like this.
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 ASUS EN8600GT 256MB can pay dividends. In this case, it's a split decision, as the Radeon HD 2600 XT takes the pixel shader test, while the ASUS EN8600GT 256MB finishes with a very impressive vertex shader result.
3DMark06 Advanced SM2.0 & SM3.0/HDR Performance
The SM2.0 & SM3.0/HDR benchmarking offer similar results compared to the shader testing, and we see the ASUS EN8600GT 256MB with an excellent SM2.0 score, while back a bit from the Radeon HD 2600 XT in the SM3.0/HDR benchmark. Also note how last-generation cards like the GeForce 7600 GT and Radeon X1650 XT fall well back of the newer mainstream products.
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 ASUS EN8600GT 256MB remains well ahead of the entry-level cards, but can't match the performance of the Radeon HD 2600 XT. Please note that the ATI Radeon X1000 cards cannot complete the Shader particles testing and are given an "n/a" rating.