Video Card Upgrade
An Install Guide On How To Upgrade Your Own Video Card

Video Card Upgrade Install Guide

Video Card Performance And Stress Testing - Benchmarks

The next test is to run the benchmarks downloaded free from Futuremark, namely 3DMark2001 Second Edition and 3DMark03. In addition to benchmarking performance, these demanding benchmarks are excellent for testing stability and for revealing graphics anomalies.

Performance is influenced by many factors besides the video card, the video card driver, and the video card driver settings. In my case, I'm using the ABIT KT7A motherboard with 512MB PC133 CAS2 SDRAM and an Athlon XP 1800+. Other factors influencing performance include the BIOS settings and the version of the motherboard chipset drivers.

The benchmarks I used are Futuremark's 3DMark2001 Second Edition (build 330) and 3DMark03 (build 340). Keep in mind that the "Overall Score" values cannot be compared between 3DMark2001 and 3DMark03, they can only be compared to other 3DMark2001 or 3DMark03 scores, respectively. In any event, no two runs of a benchmarks will give identical results.

For each benchmark, run the Demo and perform the Benchmark. Observe them while they are running and check for anything unusual, such as cut images or pixel artifacts. If the computer locks up, that will be easy to see.

3DMark2001 Second Edition Overall Score
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks
3DMark2001 Second Edition Frame Rates And Details
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks
3DMark03 Overall Score
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks
3DMark03 Frame Rates And Details
Video Card Upgrade - Stress Testing and Benchmarks

It takes at least 30 frames-per-second (fps) to have nice fluid movement. The rate of 30 fps must be maintained even under worst case conditions, such as when the screen is filled with moving objects and animations. It's therefore best to shoot for a higher value on benchmarks, such as 60 fps.

The computer configuration I have runs even the most demanding 3D applications and games smoothly. So I'm not surprised to see the results of the the 3DMark2001 SE which shows it surpasses the 60 fps mark on most tests. Each new edition of the Futuremark benchmarks raises the bar substantially, so it faired less well on the much more demanding 3DMark03 benchmark. That's nothing to worry about since the benchmarks are not meant to reflect real-world applications. But it is interesting and will no doubt give some motivation to pursuing even more powerful computer configurations in the future, one that emphasizes beefing up the processor and RAM bandwidth rather than the video card which is already quite powerful. The scores do look right for my computer configuration. In addition, the demos from both benchmarks ran smoothly and all tests completed successfully. All this gives a solid boost to the amount of confidence that can be taken in that the installation was done properly.

Skip Ahead
  How To Update Your Own Computer Video Card - Home
  What You Need For A Video Card Upgrade
  The Video Card
  Hard Drive Restore Utility
  Benchmark Utility
  Reference Video Card Drivers
  Motherboard/Chipset AGP Drivers
  Tour The Existing System Settings
  Things To Know Before You Start
  Enable AGP
  Windows 98 Steps To Remove The Old Video Card Driver
  Change Display Adapter
  Search For Updated Drivers
  Standard VGA Driver
  Install Standard VGA Driver
  Windows XP Steps To Remove The Old Video Card Driver
  How To Remove The Video Card Driver
  Installing The New Video Card
  Finding The Old Video Card
  Remove The Old Video Card
  Insert The New Video Card
  Windows 98 Steps To Add The New Video Card Driver
  Windows XP Steps To Add The New Video Card Driver
  After The Video Card Upgrade
  Tour The New System Settings
  Control Panel Display Properties
  Video Card Driver Settings
  Video Card Diagnostics And Tests
  DXDIAG - DirectX Diagnostics And Tests
  Boot Up Tests
  Troubleshooting Video Card Problems
  Advanced Topics
  Tweaking Video Card Driver Settings
  Windows 2000/XP Monitor Refresh Rate Problem

© 2001-2015, Rob Williams, all rights reserved.
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