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Old 05-09-05, 08:28 PM   #1
ricercar
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Arrow Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

MikeC suggested that I post the results of an experiment I ran with some old NVIDIA cards through the Doom3 benchmark.

The command was "timedemo demo1 nocache" run on the same system to ensure all the tests would be consistent. I want to minimize the relevance of the system, since this is a comparison of the cards to each other, not an absolute performance test. YMMV.

DOOM3 Timedemo FPS (Frames Per Second) at 640480


NOTE - The 5900U was a NV35GL engineering sample with a 5900 BIOS and slow RAMs clocked at 300/500 (250 DDR). The RAM is clocked well below consumer cards and performance is NOT AT ALL representative of consumer 5900 Ultras. The rest of the cards were consumer cards or engineering samples clocked at the same speeds as a consumer card of the same kind.

The system had a fresh install of Windows XP no service packs, and Doom3 with the 1.1 patch. Hardware baseline: nForce2 A7N8X-E Deluxe / Barton 3000+ 333 MHz fsb / 512M dual channel PC3500 @ 333 MHz / 2x WS Raptors RAID0 on motherboard controller.

ANALYSIS
So it seems you better have a 128M GeForce4 Ti or higher (excluding the FX 5200) to enjoy Doom3 at the minimum resolution of 640x480.

I didn't see significant image quality changes from 256M, 128M, and 64M cards. Video RAM down to 64M was acceptable, but there was a horrible decrease in image quality dropping below 64M RAM. With 32M RAM, it was really bad:
- coloring on the walls was banded
- shotgun smoke was square
- fog effects had linear edges
- lighting was cartoonish, posterised if you know Photoshop jargon.

What surprised me:
- It appears that 32M cards provide better FPS than 64M cards equipped with better GPUs, at the cost of image quality. The GeForce 256 and GF2 GTS @32M had better FPS than the GF2 MX or GF4 MX @64M.
- The FX 5200 performed dismally in raw speed, and didn't seem to provide any better image quality. I expected a low-end NV3x card to be better than a high-end NV2x card because of DX9 compatability. I'd rather have a faster DX8 card than a slower DX9 card.
- I also used to think 20 FPS was acceptable, but after the testing session, I'd rather play at a lower screen resolution than play Doom3 below 30 FPS.
- A 4-pipeline NV36 (FX 5700 U) with DDR-II was supposed to perform on par with a 4-pipeline NV30 with DDR-II (FX 5800U) at the same clocks, but the 5800U performed consistently better, about 10 FPS better than the 5700U at each setting. (Unfortunately I gave away my GF3 and GF 5700 before this organized testing, so they don't appear.)

--
The zip attachment is the spreadsheet. There are more measurements, but I got fed up with Excel before I could make it all pretty.

EDITED for spelling, detail, and clarity.
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Last edited by ricercar; 05-11-05 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 05-09-05, 08:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

Thanks for the effort.
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Old 05-10-05, 05:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

That must have been a true test of patience...
Which driver(s) did you use for the cards? Also, what was the clock speed of the 5800?
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Old 05-11-05, 05:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

Very intersting
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Old 05-11-05, 05:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

Nice, thanks! In addition to the driver versions, what settings did you use for Doom? (Or are they all in the zip file?) I generally get about 48fps on my 5800U at 1024x768 medium quality, so the 67fps took me aback.
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Old 05-11-05, 06:26 PM   #6
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Arrow Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

The post above displays timedemo results at 640x480/low quality.
This was the only setting that would run on all the cards at roughly 10 FPS or higher. I didn't have the patience to run older cards at settings that I knew would generate under 10 FPS. Other Doom3 settings for the same cards are detailed in the spreadsheet.

drivers
All testing was using 71.89 drivers; I'm not certain I said that in the spreadsheet. FWIW my NV5 engineering sample (Riva TNT?) was not recognized by 71.89 and therefore was not testable. (So much for the universal driver architecture NVIDIA likes to claim! Did that just disappear without telling us? )

clocks
All cards except the NV35GL were clocked at the speeds of consumer boards.
- NV30 (FX 5800 Ultra) was 500 GPU/1000 RAMs (500 DDR).
- NV28GL (Quadro 980 XGL or GF4 Ti4600) was 300/600 (300 DDR).
I don't recall the rest off the top of my head.

jnd3
My 5800U gets around 48.7 FPS on 1024768 at Medium, so your 5800U is running like mine. 107@M is how I play Doom3 when I'm not testing.

Speaking of playing Doom3 with a 5800U. The stock dustbuster fan was too loud to play after the kids went to bed, so I took off the plastic FlowFX from one of my 5800U cards. I replaced the thermal pads with paste, and put a fan on each side: a 80mm LED fan on the GPU copper, and a 60mm CPU fan on the backside copper. The 5800U temperature now stays under 60C silently, and a soft blue LED glow reminds me when the card goes into 3D modes.
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Last edited by ricercar; 05-11-05 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 05-11-05, 09:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

Nice work. Considering that it debuted over three years ago, the performance of the GeForce4 Ti is impressive.

Now how about some pics of that customized 5800U
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Old 05-12-05, 08:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC
Nice work. Considering that it debuted over three years ago, the performance of the GeForce4 Ti is impressive.

Now how about some pics of that customized 5800U
I'll second that. And maybe some links to the fans you used, how you got the airflow set up, etc. Please, please, please!
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Old 05-12-05, 06:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricercar
Speaking of playing Doom3 with a 5800U. The stock dustbuster fan was too loud to play after the kids went to bed, so I took off the plastic FlowFX from one of my 5800U cards. I replaced the thermal pads with paste, and put a fan on each side: a 80mm LED fan on the GPU copper, and a 60mm CPU fan on the backside copper. The 5800U temperature now stays under 60C silently, and a soft blue LED glow reminds me when the card goes into 3D modes.
I would like to see some pictures of that set-up, too. I'm looking for a way to reduce the decibels emitted by our 5800U, also-
I will say the nV30 has treated us well for the past 2+ years. For some reason, the image quality seems better than with the 6600GT that replaced it. Long live the dustbuster...
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Old 05-12-05, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

my my look at that 5800 u fly.
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Old 05-15-05, 11:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: Doom3 Timedemo for older GPUs

Cool round up was the Geforce 256 sdr or ddr?

oh and btw I was working on a computer that had a TNT2m64 in it the other day and I ran into this little bit of info on NVs website...

NVIDIA no longer provides updated drivers for the Riva TNT family, The last Forceware unified display driver which supported the Riva TNT family was driver version 44.03......

Rivia TNT Drivers

so it looks like they droped offical support quite awhile ago.... though you could prolly still mod the inf to get a TNT to work with the newer drivers (I think nv still supported them up to the 5x.xx or 6x.xx drivers

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