The tests to be executed include three synthetic benchmarks, four 3D games analyzed for real world performance, some thermal testing, and then some power testing. Each of the three cards were run through the following:
» FutureMark 3DMark06
» FutureMark PCMark Vantage
» PassMark Performance Test v6.1
» Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts
» F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
» Half Life 2: Episode 2
» Team Fortress 2
» Thermal Testing
» Power Consumption Testing
3DMark06 is the latest video benchmark in FutureMark's series, and it is quite a popular way to get a quick reference on a card's performance. The total score (presented in unitless "Marks") is generally what people are interested in, but the table below also shows results from the SM2.0, HDR/SM3.0, and CPU components of the test. The test settings had all cards running at 1280x1024, No AA, and optimal filtering, and higher is better for all results.
Looking at the total scores we see that the HD3870 TOP beats the HD3850 TOP by about 7.8% and the standard HD3850 by 15.9%. Just over 11000 Marks is a nice score and about what I would expect from a card like this.
PCMark Vantage is another FutureMark benchmark that can be used to gauge the overall performance of any system running Windows Vista. There are several suites within the program that can be run separately in order to narrow the focus of testing. For the sake of this review, only the "Gaming Score" for each card was compared. The results were collected with the system set to run at 1024x768 (the highest it seems to allow), and higher is better.
I hadn't run this test before, and the scores really didn't scale the way I expected after seeing the 3DMark06 results. The HD3870 is definitely the top performer according to this test, but by only 12 Marks. I guess I will have to work with this application a bit more before I understand all the finer points.