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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [05.24.05]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte
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PCMark 2004 Desktop Tests

One thing that is interesting but usually overlooked is how these cards perform in a desktop environment. PCMark 2004 Pro has some tests that can tell us just that. First, how do the cards perform while browsing through WindowsXP?

Transparent Windows: This test measures the performance of typical windowing operations of your PC. The test uses a workspace of 1024 x 768 with 32-bit color precision. Ten windows are created, each with its own moving and fading speed. Each of the windows is created fully visible and its alpha-blending value is first reduced and then increased to make a fading effect. Fading is a newer Windows® feature, which enhances the visual content of programs. User can set their own preferences for applications for highlighting certain dialogs. The result for this test is the Average Number of windows drawn per second.

It's also interesting to see how the graphics memory can perform when not in games. The Graphics Memory test is designed to stress the video memory subsystem in same manner as typical Windows desktop applications. In home usage, common activities that affect the video memory are moving windows, resizing windows, and scrolling through documents.

The test creates a back-buffered primary surface with 1024 x 768 (16 bit) resolution in DX-exclusive mode. A second work surface is created off-screen that is twice as high. For each frame, the work surface is updated by transforming data through the AGP bus with a scrolling speed of 64 scan lines per second. The work surface is then copied every frame to the displayed primary surface to stress the internal memory bandwidth.

The test is run continuously for 10 seconds. The result is in Frame updates per second.

Any differences in these results are minor at best. When the slowest card is handling over 1500 windows on the screen per second, you really can't lose with any of them ;)

Next Page: (Temperature; Conclusion)