ATI New Drivers Get 3DMark05 Crown

ATI New Drivers Get 3DMark05 Crown

ATI, usually very cautious about releasing new drivers, has thrown that caution to the wind and made public new, beta, drivers which help its flagship board regain the 3DMark05 score crown.

Although it's already beginning to feel slightly ridiculous, the newest war in the graphics world has started, the 3DMark05 Score War. If the two largest graphics cards manufacturers in the world are willing to go to extreme lengths to win it, we are going to report it.

It all started when initial tests suggested that ATI would win the war, even if only by the skin of its teeth. nVidia, of course, could not stand idly by while its hated rival, a Canadian company no less, claimed the crown with its X800XT PE and introduced its 2 card SLI in order to reach the 7229 score it did and claim the crown.

ATI however, a company with a proven track record on strategic thinking and spot-on marketing decisions, had an ace up its sleeve; the brand new, even if still in beta, 4.10 driver. Priding itself on its new driver policy and being very careful before releasing new versions in order to avoid the poor support tag which it had in the past, ATI had lulled nVidia into a false sense of security regarding its 3DMark05 scores.

Just when its rival did not expect it ATI unleashed the beta drivers, which must have been prepared a long while ago, and surprise-surprise, dramatic 3DMark05 increases ensued. Folks at nVidia must still be wondering what hit them as their triumphant high-score announcement is still being printed in their offices. nVidia though has no excuse for not being prepared for this as ATI had demonstrated, recently, how it can put its drivers into good use with the beta release of 4.9 in order to improve Doom 3 performance.

The new driver (available by following the download tab) fixes some KOTOR issues but more importantly does wonders for ATIs 3DMark05 scores. As soon as the beta drivers were introduced, some well known ATI overclockers began submitting scores to Futuremark which initially approached, then matched and now have significantly overtaken nVidia's 7229. Using an X800XT PE clocked at 806/648 in a system cooled using dry ice, ATI has achieved a score of 8250 3DMarks a score, we hear, that the company is planning to improve on. You can view the official submission of the record score to Futuremark by following the download tab above.

In order to add some clarity to the scores and the lengths the companies will go to to get the highest one, you have to remember that a normal X800XT PE has its core clocked at 520 MHz compared to the 806 of the record breaker. Also it is unlikely that the setup that produced the 8250 points is sustainable for longer than the time needed to achieve the score while nVidia's SLI setup cards were clocked at their default frequencies. The cost of the SLI setup however and the fact that it uses two cards also question the validity of its use as a means of comparing nVidia's and ATIs products.

In any case many will be quick to dismiss ATIs performance gains as results of 3DMark05 optimizations but ATI themselves claim that the new drivers are merely a bug fix which addresses some memory allocation problems which did result in significantly decreased performance. It is unlikely the Canadians would be foolish enough to use optimizations in a driver which they know is going to be torn apart and studied under the microscope by its friends and rivals alike.

File information

File name: wxp-w2k-8-07-018380E.exe

File size:

Mime type: