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6800XT AGP VS. 5900XT AGP

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First post, by pete8475

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Cards:
Gainward 5900XT 128MB AGP
Galaxy 6800XT 128MB AGP

Test System:
Asus A8V Deluxe
AMD Athlon 64X2 4600+
3GB DDR RAM (2 x 1gb, 2 x 512mb)
Windows XP Pro SP3

Driver versions:
5900XT - 175.19
6800XT - 307.83

I was unsure if the 6800XT would actually be faster or slower, there's lots of differing memory bandwidths and so on listed online for these cards.

Anyway I've been running some benchmarks and this is what I've found so far. Synthetic benchmarks are stock program settings, UT2003 is done with the benchmark.exe in the game folder and at 1280x960. FEAR is set to high detail.

5900XT:
38503 - Aquamark
16468 - 3dmark 2000
15985 - 3dmark 2001SE
5150 - 3dmark 03
1002 - 3dmark 05
283 - 3dmark 06
156.88fps - UT2003 Flyby
100.54fps - UT2003 Botmatch
8fps - FEAR (1280x720)
4fps - FEAR (1920x1080)

5900XT (500 core / 800 mem):
46712 - Aquamark
16512 - 3dmark 2000
17463 - 3dmark 2001SE
6148 - 3dmark 03
1239 - 3dmark 05
326 - 3dmark 06
188.56fps - UT2003 Flyby
106.16fps - UT2003 Botmatch
10fps - FEAR (1280x720)
5fps - FEAR (1920x1080)

6800XT:
46555 - Aquamark
16312 - 3dmark 2000
17546 - 3dmark 2001SE
6736 - 3dmark 03
2461 - 3dmark 05
1092 - 3dmark 06
163.08fps - UT2003 Flyby
97.40fps - UT2003 Botmatch
28fps - FEAR (1280x720)
14fps - FEAR (1920x1080)

6800XT overclocked (420 core / 470 mem):
54089 - Aquamark
16487 - 3dmark 2000
18899 - 3dmark 2001SE
7775 - 3dmark 03
2873 - 3dmark 05
191.09fps - UT2003 Flyby
99.33fps - UT2003 Botmatch
33fps - FEAR (1280x720)
16fps - FEAR (1920x1080)

There seems to be lots of overclocking headroom on the 6800XT as well, so far I've tested up to 425mhz core and 475mhz memory with no issues.

EDIT - I'm installing F.E.A.R right now so I'll get some numbers on that after dinner. I'm open to suggestions on other old games to try, provided I have them.
EDIT 2 - Trashed all the Quake 3 results, I think the texture quality wasn't maxed and it was only on bilinear in some of the testing.
EDIT 3 - Redoing all the UT2003 testing, I suspect it's not actually running at 1600x1200. I took a screenshot and it was only 1600x900 pixels on the FX5900XT. Redid UT2003 at 1280x960.
EDIT 9999 - Realized all the 5900XT results were at overclocked speeds, getting stock results now.

Last edited by pete8475 on 2020-02-01, 20:45. Edited 17 times in total.

Reply 1 of 26, by pete8475

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Got F.E.A.R. installed and it is definitely a demanding game! I set the graphics options to high and only adjusted the resolution before using the in-game benchmark tool. Got some graphical glitches so I've downclocked by 5mhz core and mem on the my overclocked tests.

6800xt
28fps - 1280x720
14fps - 1920x1080

6800xt (420 core / 470 mem)
33fps - 1280x720
16fps - 1920x1080

Reply 2 of 26, by candle_86

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The 6800 xt is a mixed bag I remember them new and options where

128bit 128mb DDR
128bit 256mb DDR
128bit 128mb GDDR3
128bit 256mb GDDR3
256bit 128mb DDR
256bit 256mb DDR
256bit 128mb GDDR3
256bit 256mb GDDR3

They also came with nv40/nv41 or nv42

You want an nv40 with 256mb GDDR3 on a 256bit bus. Those often unlocked to 16pp cards. 6800XT was unsold 6800/6800gs/6800gt cards released after 7900gtx and 7600gt released.

Phenom X4 9950 - ASUS M3N72D-SLI - 7900GTX SLI - 4GB DDR2 1066 - 1TB HDD - Windows XP
Pentium 4 3.4C - MSI 865PE NEO2 - 6800GT- 2GB DDR 400 - 500GB HDD - Windows XP
Athlon 700 - COMPAQ Board - ASUS Geforce 256SDR - 120GB HDD - Windows 98SE

Reply 3 of 26, by pete8475

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candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-01, 17:30:
The 6800 xt is a mixed bag I remember them new and options where […]
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The 6800 xt is a mixed bag I remember them new and options where

128bit 128mb DDR
128bit 256mb DDR
128bit 128mb GDDR3
128bit 256mb GDDR3
256bit 128mb DDR
256bit 256mb DDR
256bit 128mb GDDR3
256bit 256mb GDDR3

They also came with nv40/nv41 or nv42

You want an nv40 with 256mb GDDR3 on a 256bit bus. Those often unlocked to 16pp cards. 6800XT was unsold 6800/6800gs/6800gt cards released after 7900gtx and 7600gt released.

GPU-Z reports it's a 256bit 128mb DDR NV40.

The weird thing is that GPU-Z also claims it has about 1/3 the memory bandwith of the 5900XT, I can't help but think that's wrong considering it actually outperforms the 5900XT I have. About to run the actual game benchmarks on the 5900XT to see if that's true in gaming and not just synthetic tests.

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Reply 4 of 26, by lost77

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GPU-Z is reading the memory on the FX 5900XT wrong, it is actually 350Mhz which is also called DDR 700. So the actual memory bandwidth is half. Still faster than the 6800XT but it will pull ahead in newer titles (like you saw with F.E.A.R). Didn't know they made 6800XT's with that slow memory. It must be using original DDR memory, not GDDR.

Try to use Everest for getting info on graphics cards, I find it much more reliable for older hardware.

Reply 5 of 26, by pete8475

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lost77 wrote on 2020-02-01, 23:25:

GPU-Z is reading the memory on the FX 5900XT wrong, it is actually 350Mhz which is also called DDR 700. So the actual memory bandwidth is half. Still faster than the 6800XT but it will pull ahead in newer titles (like you saw with F.E.A.R). Didn't know they made 6800XT's with that slow memory. It must be using original DDR memory, not GDDR.

Try to use Everest for getting info on graphics cards, I find it much more reliable for older hardware.

Cool, will check it out.

Reply 7 of 26, by candle_86

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It's the power saving features of the card, hit the question mark next to agp 8x in t should put a 3d load and cause it to switch to 3d clocks. Also since it's nv40 grab Riva tuner and see if it unlocks, you may get the full 16pp6vs.

According to what I can find that's a 700mhz mem card which means it's a 6800agp old stock being sold as a 6800xt, I'd bet you can at least get 12pp5vs

Also no the nv35 has 4, it's a 4x1 design that sometimes acts like a 16x1 in very limited situations like only processing alpha channels. The fx design was weird.

Phenom X4 9950 - ASUS M3N72D-SLI - 7900GTX SLI - 4GB DDR2 1066 - 1TB HDD - Windows XP
Pentium 4 3.4C - MSI 865PE NEO2 - 6800GT- 2GB DDR 400 - 500GB HDD - Windows XP
Athlon 700 - COMPAQ Board - ASUS Geforce 256SDR - 120GB HDD - Windows 98SE

Reply 8 of 26, by The Serpent Rider

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NV15, NV20, NV25, NV28, NV30, NV35 and NV38 have 4 pixel pipelines with 2 TMUs on each pipeline

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 9 of 26, by pete8475

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candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-02, 21:59:

It's the power saving features of the card, hit the question mark next to agp 8x in t should put a 3d load and cause it to switch to 3d clocks. Also since it's nv40 grab Riva tuner and see if it unlocks, you may get the full 16pp6vs.

According to what I can find that's a 700mhz mem card which means it's a 6800agp old stock being sold as a 6800xt, I'd bet you can at least get 12pp5vs

Also no the nv35 has 4, it's a 4x1 design that sometimes acts like a 16x1 in very limited situations like only processing alpha channels. The fx design was weird.

Interesting stuff, I do have Rivatuner on there, I've been using it to overclock.

Reply 10 of 26, by pete8475

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Does display driver version matter when you try unlocking shader units with Riva Tuner?

If I enable either block of disabled pixel shaders I get 2d corruption/freezing and other weirdness in Windows. If I enable either disabled vertex shader I get flashing shadows in FEAR.

EDIT - Actually enabling only the 2nd disabled vertex shader DOES work fine. Trying older drivers now to see if that makes any difference with the pixel shaders.

Reply 11 of 26, by pete8475

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Well after testing version 175.19 I'm going to say driver version probably doesn't play a role in this.

None of the extra pixel shaders work properly on this card but one of the vertex shaders does (at least in FEAR).

EDIT - 3dmark tests don't seem to show any artifacts with that extra vertex shader enabled.

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Last edited by pete8475 on 2020-02-03, 19:08. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 26, by pete8475

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Something else of note is that Firefox scrolls much smoother with the 307.83 drivers on the 6800XT, even scrolling up and down a page on this forum with the 175 drivers on 6800XT is kind of choppy (same with 5900XT). So I guess there's some kind of hardware acceleration being enabled with these massively newer drivers.

Now I kind of want to get one of the faster AGP ATI cards like an X1950 or HD3850 to see how it compares to this stuff in this machine but I don't really have the extra funds at the moment.

Reply 13 of 26, by candle_86

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Well at 8pp your card is actually slower than a 6600gt, your comparable to a 6600 DDR2 in 3d performance unless you enable aa and then you may get be slightly faster thanks to bandwidth. Your disabled pipes are definitely bad though.

The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-02-03, 12:59:

NV15, NV20, NV25, NV28, NV30, NV35 and NV38 have 4 pixel pipelines with 2 TMUs on each pipeline

Not according to Nvidia, their offical anwser with nv3x is it depends. There are situations where it runs as a 4x2, an 8x1 and even a 16x1. It was a good idea on their part but it failed in execution. The only 4x2 design in nv3x officially claimed at the time is the nv36.

Phenom X4 9950 - ASUS M3N72D-SLI - 7900GTX SLI - 4GB DDR2 1066 - 1TB HDD - Windows XP
Pentium 4 3.4C - MSI 865PE NEO2 - 6800GT- 2GB DDR 400 - 500GB HDD - Windows XP
Athlon 700 - COMPAQ Board - ASUS Geforce 256SDR - 120GB HDD - Windows 98SE

Reply 14 of 26, by agent_x007

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candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-04, 13:37:
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-02-03, 12:59:

NV15, NV20, NV25, NV28, NV30, NV35 and NV38 have 4 pixel pipelines with 2 TMUs on each pipeline

Not according to Nvidia, their offical anwser with nv3x is it depends. There are situations where it runs as a 4x2, an 8x1 and even a 16x1. It was a good idea on their part but it failed in execution. The only 4x2 design in nv3x officially claimed at the time is the nv36.

That's 100% marketing BS.
All NV3x GPUs are based on GF4 Ti design, and that includes a second TMU per pixel pipe (low end NV3x's have it disabled), to get more texture fillrate over shader power. BUT it all blew up in their faces with Far Cry/Half Life 2/Doom 3 using shader heavy code.
16x1 would mean it would be on 6800 GT/Ultra units number level (ie. 16 pixels operations each with 1 texture on top).
I can agree to 8x0 to be possible (in some weird situations), but "16:1" is NOT for ANY nv3x GPUs.

GF5 vs. GF6.png
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I used those settings for all cards :

Fillrate benchmark 500-500.PNG
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AIDA64 on my FX 5950 :

AIDA64.PNG
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^Pixel Pipelines : 4,
TMU per pipeline : 2.

108080818886.png

Reply 15 of 26, by pete8475

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candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-04, 13:37:

Well at 8pp your card is actually slower than a 6600gt, your comparable to a 6600 DDR2 in 3d performance unless you enable aa and then you may get be slightly faster thanks to bandwidth. Your disabled pipes are definitely bad though.

It's only about $40 on ebay for an agp 6600gt, I might get one to directly compare.

There's an inno3d 128mb version and a bunch of no-name 512mb cards from China. Are all 6600gt's created equally or is there weirdness like with the 6800xt stuff?

Reply 16 of 26, by candle_86

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agent_x007 wrote on 2020-02-04, 17:18:
That's 100% marketing BS. All NV3x GPUs are based on GF4 Ti design, and that includes a second TMU per pixel pipe (low end NV3x' […]
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candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-04, 13:37:
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-02-03, 12:59:

NV15, NV20, NV25, NV28, NV30, NV35 and NV38 have 4 pixel pipelines with 2 TMUs on each pipeline

Not according to Nvidia, their offical anwser with nv3x is it depends. There are situations where it runs as a 4x2, an 8x1 and even a 16x1. It was a good idea on their part but it failed in execution. The only 4x2 design in nv3x officially claimed at the time is the nv36.

That's 100% marketing BS.
All NV3x GPUs are based on GF4 Ti design, and that includes a second TMU per pixel pipe (low end NV3x's have it disabled), to get more texture fillrate over shader power. BUT it all blew up in their faces with Far Cry/Half Life 2/Doom 3 using shader heavy code.
16x1 would mean it would be on 6800 GT/Ultra units number level (ie. 16 pixels operations each with 1 texture on top).
I can agree to 8x0 to be possible (in some weird situations), but "16:1" is NOT for ANY nv3x GPUs.

GF5 vs. GF6.png
I used those settings for all cards :
Fillrate benchmark 500-500.PNG
AIDA64 on my FX 5950 :
AIDA64.PNG
^Pixel Pipelines : 4,
TMU per pipeline : 2.

All I can say is read the reviews and nvidia's on release documents on it. Nv3x was weird in a bad way. As I understand it the 16x1 has to do with when the gpu is only processing alpha channels without any other data, maybe it can do 4 alpha channels per pipe. You'd have to ask Nvidia on it.

pete8475 wrote on 2020-02-04, 19:24:
candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-04, 13:37:

Well at 8pp your card is actually slower than a 6600gt, your comparable to a 6600 DDR2 in 3d performance unless you enable aa and then you may get be slightly faster thanks to bandwidth. Your disabled pipes are definitely bad though.

It's only about $40 on ebay for an agp 6600gt, I might get one to directly compare.

There's an inno3d 128mb version and a bunch of no-name 512mb cards from China. Are all 6600gt's created equally or is there weirdness like with the 6800xt stuff?

Avoid the 512 and 256 cards they where later and used ddr2 you want 138mb GDDR3. It will be faster though, at launch below 1600x1200 the 6600gt would often beat the plain 6800, or if you used aa and af, but neither card where playable really with those settings. Dear might be a different story but in doom3, half life2, and far cry the 6600gt was faster against a 12p5v card. It's 350mhz 12pp vs 500mhz 8pp.

Your now looking at 425 8pp.

Phenom X4 9950 - ASUS M3N72D-SLI - 7900GTX SLI - 4GB DDR2 1066 - 1TB HDD - Windows XP
Pentium 4 3.4C - MSI 865PE NEO2 - 6800GT- 2GB DDR 400 - 500GB HDD - Windows XP
Athlon 700 - COMPAQ Board - ASUS Geforce 256SDR - 120GB HDD - Windows 98SE

Reply 17 of 26, by The Serpent Rider

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6600GT 256Mb were usually with GDDR3. I don't consider every chinese small fry bootleg basement manufacturer though.

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Reply 18 of 26, by pete8475

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candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-05, 02:53:

Avoid the 512 and 256 cards they where later and used ddr2 you want 138mb GDDR3. It will be faster though, at launch below 1600x1200 the 6600gt would often beat the plain 6800, or if you used aa and af, but neither card where playable really with those settings. Dear might be a different story but in doom3, half life2, and far cry the 6600gt was faster against a 12p5v card. It's 350mhz 12pp vs 500mhz 8pp.

Your now looking at 425 8pp.

128mb it is, thank you.

$40 for an easy upgrade seems pretty reasonable to me.

EDIT - There are several 256mb 7800gs cards that aren't unreasonably priced on ebay, I might have to get one of those. 😁

Reply 19 of 26, by candle_86

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pete8475 wrote on 2020-02-05, 03:50:
128mb it is, thank you. […]
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candle_86 wrote on 2020-02-05, 02:53:

Avoid the 512 and 256 cards they where later and used ddr2 you want 138mb GDDR3. It will be faster though, at launch below 1600x1200 the 6600gt would often beat the plain 6800, or if you used aa and af, but neither card where playable really with those settings. Dear might be a different story but in doom3, half life2, and far cry the 6600gt was faster against a 12p5v card. It's 350mhz 12pp vs 500mhz 8pp.

Your now looking at 425 8pp.

128mb it is, thank you.

$40 for an easy upgrade seems pretty reasonable to me.

EDIT - There are several 256mb 7800gs cards that aren't unreasonably priced on ebay, I might have to get one of those. 😁

Hard to argue with that, but I've seen x1900gt agp cards on eBay for 50-60 and those are light years ahead of the 7800gs. They match the x1950pro in specs and clock speeds, it just uses the r580 instead of the rv570. It also compares to the 7950gt vs the 7800gs comparing to the 6800 ultra. I'd say if you can snag one of them you'll be much happier.

Phenom X4 9950 - ASUS M3N72D-SLI - 7900GTX SLI - 4GB DDR2 1066 - 1TB HDD - Windows XP
Pentium 4 3.4C - MSI 865PE NEO2 - 6800GT- 2GB DDR 400 - 500GB HDD - Windows XP
Athlon 700 - COMPAQ Board - ASUS Geforce 256SDR - 120GB HDD - Windows 98SE