As promised, today we’re taking a look at the performance of the GeForce4 Titanium line on AMD’s Athlon platform. Like the first article, we’re examining GeForce’s performance on older 700MHz and 1,000MHz systems. We’ve also thrown in a 1,200MHz system, as we know that’s another popular system configuration today.
If you looked at the performance graphs in the Pentium III article, you noticed the term “CPU-limited” came up several times when discussing the Pentium III 700 system. What does this word mean? Quite simply, in many situations high-end boards like the GeForce4 Ti 4600 and GeForce3 Ti 500 are stuck waiting on the CPU, making it the limiting factor in the video card’s performance. This is a situation you want to avoid as you’re not getting the most out of your video card and essentially wasting your money.
Once the video card is paired with a faster CPU or pushed to its limits by increasing the screen resolution (and/or enabling AA) the CPU is no longer holding the video card back, the video card itself becomes the bottleneck.
So how can you tell if your CPU is the limiting factor? Simple, if the frame rate remains constant as you increase the screen resolution, you’ll know that your CPU is holding you back. Despite its age, Quake III is arguably still the best benchmark available for determining this. Now on to the benchmarks!
AMD Athlon “Thunderbird” 700MHz
AMD Athlon “Thunderbird” 1000MHz (7.5x133)
AMD Athlon “Thunderbird” 1200MHz (9.0x133)
256MB Corsair PC2100 DDR SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600 reference board
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX460 reference board
NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 500 reference board
NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 200 reference board
NVIDIA GeForce2 Ti reference board
Driver version Detonator 27.30
30GB IBM Deskstar DTLA 307030 ATA/100 Hard Drive
AFREEY 12X DVD-ROM
Windows XP Professional
Desktop Resolution: 1024x768x32
3DMark 2001 - 32-bit, compressed textures
Quake 3 Retail - High Quality
Serious Sam Retail - Normal (32-bit)
Castle Wolfenstein MP Test - no compressed textures, (32-bit)