Geeks3D Daily News Round-up (2009.01.06)

Geeks3D Daily 3D News

Black Ball Optical Illusion
Black Ball Optical Illusion

“All 3D news you missed today in a single post!”

Today: Shapeways, Ardor3D, Platinum Arts Sandbox, GeForce GTX 285, Galaxy GeForce GTX 260 55nm, Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic, NVIDIA GT215, Edge Detection with Direct3D 10, Shadow Mapping and GLSL.

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GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 vs ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB

What to choose between NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 and ATI Radeon HD 4870 1Gb? In a word, if you need antialiasing in high resolution, the Radeon HD 4870 1Gb is the right choice. if you don’t need AA, choose the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 because performances without AA are better. In the side of power consumption and noise, the GeForce has the advantage.


Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic Review

Sapphire’s Radeon HD 4870 Toxic edition features the Vapor-X heat pipe cooler based on Sapphire’s Vapor Chamber Technology. Vapor-X makes it possible a cool 43°C at idle and a 65°C under load. This Radeon HD 4870 is powered by the RV770 GPU (with 800 shaders processors), has 512Mb of GDDR5 graphics memory with a 256-bit interface and has some overclocked frequencies (memory: 1000MHz, GPU: 780MHz).

Read the complete test here: Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic Video Card

In conclusion, my final recommendation on the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic graphics card is very good but at the moment it’s nearly impossible to procure. On its own accord the 4870 Toxic would occasionally reach the level of performance seen from the GeForce GTX 260, but never completely dominate over it.

ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024Mb Review

This Radeon HD 4870 (RV770 GPU) with 1Gb GDDR5 of graphics memory can be seen as the answer to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 (see here and here). And from the tests, the Radeon HD 4870 1Gb is a little faster than a regular GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 but has to compete fiercely with the pre-overcloked versions of the GTX 260 Core 216 (like BFG and eVGA).

Read the complete review here: AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB review

ATI Optimizes Catalyst 8.8 to be FurMark-Proof!

Here is an incredible news to start the day: Expreview has found that ATI’s Catalyst 8.8 have been optimized to detect FurMark and downclock the frequencies of a Radeon HD 4850/4870 to avoid to burn the GPU.

So if you have a Radeon HD 4850 or Radeon HD 4870, just rename FurMark.exe in something.exe and you will see the difference!

Expreview has done the test with Quake Wars: Emeny Territory and has renamed etqw.exe to FurMark.exe and saw performance drop from 141.3FPS to 93.7FPS!

I have not a Radeon HD 4000 series but I think that I’m going to buy a Radeon HD 4850 today!

It’s a pain to develop a benchmark to make it running properly on most graphics hardwares and now I have to include in FurMark a Catalyst anit-cheat???? Thanks AMD/ATI….

Why AMD doesn’t contact me directly to find out the problem???


[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

VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB Linux Review

Phoronix has tested VisionTek’s Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB under Ubuntu 8.04.1 32-bit with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel and the latest ATI Catalyst 8.8. Catalyst 8.8 for Linux supports CrossFire, OverDrive overclocking, adaptive anti-aliasing, and other improvements. The benchmark suite used by Phoronix includes OpenGL titles like Doom 3, Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and the Phoronix Test Suite.

The conclusion of this test is the Radeon HD 4870 X2 isn’t quite as far as two Radeon HD 4870 512MB graphics cards linked together via CrossFire, but it’s darn close.

Read the complete test here: VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB.

ATI Radeon HD 4870 Overclocking Guide

TechARP has published an article about Radeon HD 4870 overclocking. They used ATI Catalyst Control Center (or CCC) to overclock the card. The overclocking principle is to firstly to overclock the graphics memory with steps of 10Mhz until you see some visual artifacts. Once you see artifacts, downclock by around 10/20MHz. Second phase, overclock the GPU. Reset memory clock to default and increase GPU clock with steps of 10MHz and do the same artifact test than for memory.

Read the complete overclocking guide here: ATI Radeon HD 4870 Overclocking Guide

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