Pentium III 500 Platform Comparison

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Graphics Subsystem Performance

I used two different benchmarks to test the graphics performance: Winbench99 and Passmark Performance Test. Membench was also considered for this test, however it runs under DOS, which prevents the use of video drivers that enable the write-combining features of modern processors. Intelligent Firmware, the developers of Membench, suggested that Iuse a shareware utility, such as Fastvid, to enable this feature. Unfortunately, I was unable to confirm before the testing that Fastvid would properly enable this feature for the Pentium III (Katmai) processor, putting the results into question and eliminating the benchmark from this comparison.

Winbench 99

AX6C/DRDRAM

AX6BC/SDRAM

AX63/SDRAM

AX63/VCSDRAM

AVS Express 3.4

91.1

91.1

83.6

88.3

Front Page 98

137

139

138

138

Microstation SE

8.58

8.56

8.48

8.6

Photoshop 4.0

64.4

65.3

60.3

61.2

Premiere 4.2

71.2

70.8

70.6

71

Sound Forge 4.0

115

116

112

114

Visual C++ 5.0

270

273

266

272

High-End Overall

396

396

388

394

Business Overall

165

170

154

156

Passmark

AX6C/DRDRAM

AX6BC/SDRAM

AX63/SDRAM

AX63/VCSDRAM

2D – Line

25.8

21.6

23.7

24.3

2D – Bitmaps

112.1

112.1

112.1

112.1

2D – Shade

7.8

7.6

6.7

6.8

3D

26.3

26.6

24.2

24.2

2D Graphics Mark

194.3

188.5

190.0

190.0

3D Graphics Mark

17.9

18.1

16.5

16.5

As is evident by the results, the BX chipset using PC100 SDRAM has the same, or slightly better graphics performance than the i820 chipset with PC800 DRDRAM. The VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset lags behind the other two in most cases, even with Virtual Channel memory installed. It is important to note here that the more recent chipset from VIA (Apollo Pro133A) was not tested and could provide better results. This is something that will be tested in the near future in another platform comparison.


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