|Sapphire Toxic 512MB Radeon HD3870 Graphics Card
The tests to be executed include three synthetic benchmarks, five 3D games analyzed for real world performance, thermal testing, and power consumption testing. The two cards were run through the following tests:
» FutureMark 3DMark Vantage
» FutureMark 3DMark06
» PassMark Performance Test v6.1
» F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
» Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts
» Team Fortress 2
» Call of Juarez
» Track Mania Nations Forever
» Thermal Testing
» Power Consumption Testing
FutureMark 3DMark Vantage:
FutureMark's 3DMark Vantage is a brand new test, and generating a good deal of buzz in the enthusiast community for a variety of reasons. The format is similar to previous versions of 3DMark, but DirectX 10 features are now tested in the Windows Vista only program. It took me a while to actually get results at all, and luckily my contact at Sapphire clued me in to the hotfix available from ATI to allow this card to execute 3DMark Vantage successfully.
Higher is better for all results shown above, and what we see is that the ASUS card slightly outperforms the Sapphire card in terms of the total score. The difference is a trivial 80 Marks, and I am certain that the higher clock speed on the ASUS card is the reason.
Until the arrival of 3DMark Vantage, FutureMark's 3DMark06 was the latest and greatest way to get a quick overview of a system's gaming potential. 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 the cards running at 1280x1024, No AA, and optimal filtering (higher is better for each result).
Here we see that the results are very close, but that the ASUS card holds a slight edge in everything but the CPU score. The deciding factor is most definitely the GPU clock speed, and those 51 extra MHz lead it to a total score that is 178 Marks higher. When the Sapphire card's GPU overclocked to just 855MHz, the total score rises by 311 to take the lead at 11004 Marks. Bump it up to 885MHz and the total score hits 11214. Quite impressive!