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NVIDIA GeForce 256 Review

3D WinMark 99 Benchmarks



It's been a some time since I last took a look at ZDNET's popular benchmarking software and was impressed by their current benchmark suite.  It's apparent that 3D WinBench 99 is targeted towards measuring performance in 3D games.

The purpose of 3D WinBench 99 is to measures a PC's 3D graphics subsystem performance using Microsoft's Direct3D interface.  3D WinBench 99 is used to test hardware graphics adapters and drivers and provides performance scores and measures, such as how quickly an adapter renders a scene.

Update - November 6, 1999:

To see the benefits of the GeForce 256's transform and lighting capabilities under DirectX 7, check out the 3D WinMark 2000 benchmark results page.



Islands - Test 1

Click to enlarge - 432K

Chapel - Test 4

Click to enlarge - 302K

Station - Test 8

Click to enlarge - 246

Chamber - Test 11

Click to enlarge - 646K



In addition to image quality tests, the 3D WinMark 99 test contains scenes that vary in complexity and special effects.  Each test provides results in frames per second and the 3D WinMark 99 score is determined by adding all the individual results.  Documentation for the settings used in each test appear at ZDNET's site.

The following settings were used for the tests:
  • 16-bit Z buffer depth
  • Triple buffer
  • Flip rendering mode
  • Full screen
  • 85Hz monitor refresh rate
Unfortunately, I was unable to provide results comparing the TNT2 Ultra and GeForce 256 in 32-bit color.  This was due to the GeForce 256 defaulting to a 32-bit Z buffer color depth, while the TNT2 Ultra results were based on 16-bit.

I disabled the "Adjust Z buffer depth to rendering depth if unequal" option in the GeForce 256 Direct 3D properties, but 3D WinMark 99 failed to run with this setting.  I have provided results at 1280x1024@32bpp for the GeForce 256 only.

Keep in mind that as you view the test results, this suite of benchmarks was developed using DirectX 6.  DirectX 7 added transform and lighting support which would substantially increase the GeForce 256 results (if the benchmarks were developed to take advantage of T&L).



3D WinMark 99 - 1024x768@16bpp

3D WinMark 99: TNT2 Ultra - 1030    GeForce 256 - 1070



3D WinMark - 1280x1024@16bpp

3D WinMark 99: TNT2 Ultra - 767    GeForce 256 - 936



3D WinMark 99 - 1280x1024@32bpp/32-bit Z Buffer

3D WinMarks 99: GeForce 256 - 550




Next: 3D WinMark 2000 Benchmarks


Last Updated on November 6, 1999

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