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Video Card Upgrade Install Guide

Video Card Performance And Stress Testing - Benchmarks

The next test is to run the benchmarks downloaded free from Futuremark, namely 3DMark2001 Second Edition and 3DMark03. In addition to benchmarking performance, these demanding benchmarks are excellent for testing stability and for revealing graphics anomalies.

Performance is influenced by many factors besides the video card, the video card driver, and the video card driver settings. In my case, I'm using the ABIT KT7A motherboard with 512MB PC133 CAS2 SDRAM and an Athlon XP 1800+. Other factors influencing performance include the BIOS settings and the version of the motherboard chipset drivers.

The benchmarks I used are Futuremark's 3DMark2001 Second Edition (build 330) and 3DMark03 (build 340). Keep in mind that the "Overall Score" values cannot be compared between 3DMark2001 and 3DMark03, they can only be compared to other 3DMark2001 or 3DMark03 scores, respectively. In any event, no two runs of a benchmarks will give identical results.

For each benchmark, run the Demo and perform the Benchmark. Observe them while they are running and check for anything unusual, such as cut images or pixel artifacts. If the computer locks up, that will be easy to see.

3DMark2001 Second Edition Overall Score
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks
 
 
3DMark2001 Second Edition Frame Rates And Details
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks
 
 
3DMark03 Overall Score
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks
 
 
3DMark03 Frame Rates And Details
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks


It takes at least 30 frames-per-second (fps) to have nice fluid movement. The rate of 30 fps must be maintained even under worst case conditions, such as when the screen is filled with moving objects and animations. It's therefore best to shoot for a higher value on benchmarks, such as 60 fps.

The computer configuration I have runs even the most demanding 3D applications and games smoothly. So I'm not surprised to see the results of the the 3DMark2001 SE which shows it surpasses the 60 fps mark on most tests. Each new edition of the Futuremark benchmarks raises the bar substantially, so it faired less well on the much more demanding 3DMark03 benchmark. That's nothing to worry about since the benchmarks are not meant to reflect real-world applications. But it is interesting and will no doubt give some motivation to pursuing even more powerful computer configurations in the future, one that emphasizes beefing up the processor and RAM bandwidth rather than the video card which is already quite powerful. The scores do look right for my computer configuration. In addition, the demos from both benchmarks ran smoothly and all tests completed successfully. All this gives a solid boost to the amount of confidence that can be taken in that the installation was done properly.

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