With the imminent arrival of some much-needed DirectX 10 content, we felt this was the right time for us to start moving our graphics test systems to Windows Vista.
For the time being, we’ve opted for Windows Vista Ultimate x86 because, frankly, we’re not quite confident enough to make the move to 64-bit Windows Vista yet. This is especially the case for graphics testing, where drivers (in particular) are changing every time you install a new graphics card.
We’ve been tinkering with both versions of Vista for some time now, but it’s taken a lot longer for us to make the transition than we’d have hoped. Unfortunately, over the past few months we’ve had more than our fair share of issues getting graphics drivers running stably, amongst other things, under Vista in a testing environment.
In particular, our experiences with 64-bit Vista just haven’t been quite as good as they have with 32-bit Vista on the driver front. However, the jump to the 64-bit version of Windows Vista is definitely on our roadmap if there is sufficient demand for us to start testing with it. We’re keen to hear your feedback on this, so drop into our forums to share your upgrade plans with us.
Nvidia System Setup:
- Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB -- operating at 612/1500/2160MHz using Forceware 158.18
- Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB -- operating at 575/1350/1800MHz using Forceware 158.18
- BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB -- operating at 550/1300/1600MHz using Forceware 158.18
- Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB -- operating at 650/1600MHz using Forceware 158.18
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (operating at 2.93GHz -- 11x266MHz); Asus Striker Extreme motherboard (nForce 680i SLI); 2 x 1GB Corsair XMS2-8500C5 (operating in dual channel at DDR2-800 with 4-4-4-12-1T timings); Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 200GB SATA hard drive; OCZ GameXtreme 700W PSU; Windows Vista Ultimate x86; Nvidia nForce standalone drivers version 15.00 WHQL.
Click to enlarge
ATI System Setup:
- ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB -- operating at 650/2000MHz using Catalyst 7.4 WHQL
- ATI Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB -- operating at 650/1550MHz using Catalyst 7.4 WHQL
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (operating at 2.93GHz - 11x266MHz); Intel D975XBX2 "BadAxe" motherboard (975X Express); 2 x 1GB Corsair XMS2-8500C5 (operating in dual channel at DDR2-800 with 4-4-4-12 timings); Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 200GB SATA hard drive; OCZ GameXtreme 700W PSU; Windows Vista Ultimate x86; Intel Chipset Software version 126.96.36.1993 WHQL.
We used the following versions of the games listed to evaluate the performance of these video cards:
- Company of Heroes, version 1.5.0
- Supreme Commander, build 3220
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, version 1.2
- Counter-Strike: Source
- F.E.A.R., version 1.08
- Call Of Duty 2, version 1.2
- Prey, version 1.3
- Quake 4, version 1.3