Tag Archives: radeon hd 3870

[Geeks3D-Test] ATI Catalyst 8.8 vs 8.7: OpenGL Performance Drop

Catalyst 8.8 graphics drivers have been released few days ago, and today, or better this evening I’ve done some tests with oZone3D.Net OpenGL Benchmarks and a Radeon HD 3870 (stock clocks). I also used Lightsmark 2008 in order to have another OpenGL 2.0 application to confirm oZone3D.Net OpenGL benchmarks.

Here are the results, rather unexpected

Catalyst 8.7 Catalyst 8.8 Diff
FurMark 1280×1024 3100 3229 +4%
FluidMark 1280×1024 954 937 -1.8%
Soft Shadows Branching OFF 3384 2590 -23%
Soft Shadows Branching ON 4088 2993 -26%
Surface Deformer 13526 10332 -23%
Lightsmark 2008 391 376 -4%
TOTAL Sum 25443 20457 -18%

System Configuration: Core 2 Duo E8400 default clock, motherboard EVGA 790i Ultra SLI, 2Gb DDR3 1333, HIS Radeon HD 3870 default clocks, Catalyst 8.8 XP32, Windows XP SP2 32-bit.

Global Performance Drop: 18%. OpenGL performance tumbled by around 26% in dynamic branching (soft shadows), around 23% in vertex processing (surface deformer) and around 4% in Lightsmark 2008. Only FurMark takes advantage of Catalyst 8.8 with a little 4% of performance boost. FurMark makes an intensive use of texture fetching and blending (ROPs) and maybe ATI has improved something in this part of Catalyst. But as said hereafter, Expreview has noticed a performance drop with a Radeon HD 4850 and FurMark. I don’t have such a radeon and then I can’t confirm this last result but FurMark score is somewhat weird…

Expreview on his side, has tested the Catalyst 8.8 with an ATI Radeon HD 4850 and compared to Catalyst 8.7, the new driver boosts the performance in games. If you have a Radeon HD 4850, Expreview recommends you update to Catalyst 8.8. But if you look at the results more seriously, you can notice that scores are boosted mainly for DirectX 10 titles. In other OpenGL or DirectX 9 titles, there is no or a little boost only. And with FurMark, Expreview has the same kind of performance drop I had with the HD 3870.

TweakTown in his Catalyst 8.8 review has also experienced a severe OpenGL performance drop with Radeon HD 3870 and Cinebench, the OpenGL benchmark derived from Cinema 4D. The Radeon HD 4870 has a drop too but less important.

Conclusion: for OpenGL applications that are performance focused, it’s better to not use Catalyst 8.8. In some cases, Catalyst 8.8 brings a little boost only and in other cases, a dramatic drop is noticed.

If you have some interesting results with OpenGL applications, do no hesitate to post a comment!

More OpenGL related posts: OpenGL @ Geeks3D.
More Catalyst releated posts: Catalyst @ Geeks3D

Graphics cards reviews round-up

The latest graphics cards reviews of the week:

GeForce 9800 GX2
XFX GeForce 9800GX2 @ Motherboards.org

GeForce 9800 GTX
GeForce 9800 GTX vs 9800 GX2
Foxconn GeForce 9800 GTX OC 512MB Video Card
ASUS EN9800GTX TOP @ elitebastards.com
Asus EN9800GTX @ Hardwarelogic

GeForce 9600 GT
Geforce 9600GT SLI Performance
BFG Tech 9600GT @ Tweaktown
XFX GeForce 9600GT at TweakTown
PNY Verto 9600 GT @ Legitreviews
Twintech GeForce 9600GT XXT OC Edition
Palit GeForce 9600GT at Benchmark Reviews

GeForce 9600 GSO
Palit Geforce 9600 GSO at TechwareLabs
Palit 9600 GSO @ NeoSeeker

GeForce 8800 GTS
Asus 8800GTS @ CDRInfo

GeForce 8800 GT
BFG 8800 GT OCX @ I4U News
ECS 8800GT 256MB @ Virtual-Hideout
ECS GeForce 8800GT at Virtual-Hideout

Radeon HD 3870
Sapphire HD 3870 @ Tweaktown

Radeon HD 3850 X2
ASUS EAH3850 X2 @ ThinkComputers

Radeon HD 3650
Diamond HD 3650 PE @ TheTechLounge
MSI Radeon HD 3650 @ X-bit labs