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AGP - A New Interface for Graphic Accelerators

AGP - The Practice

Benchmark Comparison PCI vs. AGP

3D Graphic Accelerator Review


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Benchmark Comparison PCI vs. AGP

The following test were run on two different motherboards with Intel's new 440LX chipset, a Pentium II 300 CPU and the Diamond Fire GL 1000 Pro PCI and AGP graphics card. As operating systems were used Windows 95 OSR 2.1 (with USB supplement) and DirectX5 final and Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3.

Windows 95 ran from a Quantum Fireball ST 3.2 ultra-DMA EIDE harddisk and Intel's Bus Master DMA driver 3.01 was used.

Windows NT ran from a Seagate Cheetah ST34501W connected to a DPT PM2144UW using the original NT drivers.

I was using two boards to show you how inconsistent this new technology still is. The AOpen AX6L seems to be fast when using a PCI graphics card and slow when using an AGP one, the FIC KL-6011 shows exactly the opposite. The results of both boards have in common that the 'Large Textures Scene' in 3D Winbench 97 is the only way to see a significant performance advantage of AGP over PCI.


Windows 95 Benchmarks

3D Winbench Large Textures Scene

AOpen AX6L

FIC KL-6011

As you can see, at high resolutions parts of the large textures have to be swapped to main memory, which has a large impact on the PCI system. AGP's DIME feature handles it much better.

Other Windows 95 Benchmarks

AOpen AX6L
 
  Fire GL 1000 Pro PCI Fire GL 1000 Pro AGP
Business Winstone 97 64.4 65
HighEnd Winstone 97 29.4 29.9
3D Winmark 97 174 173
PC Player 3D Bench 36.3 36.2
Business Winmark 97 114 110
HighEnd Winmark 97 32.9 34.4
FIC KL-6011
 
  Fire GL 1000 Pro PCI Fire GL 1000 Pro AGP
Business Winstone 97 64 65.3
HighEnd Winstone 97 28.9 30.2
3D Winmark 97 169 175
PC Player 3D Bench 36.1 36.3
Business Winmark 97 111 111
HighEnd Winmark 97 31 34.3
I would love to know what it is, but the FIC board seems to have serious problems with PCI graphic cards, the results are very low. It's faster than the AOpen board when using an AGP card though. Please stick more to the results of the AOpen board, because this represents the majority of current AGP boards. You can only see a very tiny difference between PCI and AGP cards.

Windows NT Benchmarks

AOpen AX6L
 
  Fire GL 1000 Pro PCI Fire GL 1000 Pro AGP
Business Winstone 97 Windows NT 89 89.1
HighEnd Winstone 97 Windows NT 41.3 41.8
Business Winmark 97 Windows NT 144 145
HighEnd Winmark 97 Windows NT 62.5 62.7
FIC KL-6011
 
  Fire GL 1000 Pro PCI Fire GL 1000 Pro AGP
Business Winstone 97 Windows NT 87.6 89.4
HighEnd Winstone 97 Windows NT 40.6 42.1
Business Winmark 97 Windows NT 141 145
HighEnd Winmark 97 Windows NT 61.3 62.7
There seems to be a very slight tedency that the AGP card is indeed a little bit faster under NT, but the AOpen board shows that it certainly isn't much at all.

OpenGL Benchmarks (under Windows NT)

AOpen AX6L
 
  Fire GL 1000 Pro PCI Fire GL 1000 Pro AGP
OpenGL ViewPerf CDRS-03 [fps] 30.7 25.6
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVR2 640x480 [fps] 29.7 29.3
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVR2 800x600 [fps] 23 22.7
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVR2 1024x768 [fps] 16.4 16.2
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVF2 640x480 [fps] 26.1 26.0
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVF2 800x600 [fps] 21 20.9
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVF2 1024x768 [fps] 15.5 15.5
FIC KL-6011
 
  Fire GL 1000 Pro PCI Fire GL 1000 Pro AGP
OpenGL ViewPerf CDRS-03 [fps] 28.4 30.9
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVR2 640x480 [fps] 29.4 29.9
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVR2 800x600 [fps] 22.8 23.0
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVR2 1024x768 [fps] 16.3 16.4
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVF2 640x480 [fps] 26.1 26.4
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVF2 800x600 [fps] 20.7 21.1
OpenGL Gemini RWB GVF2 1024x768 [fps] 15.4 15.6
The Gemini Benchmarks were run with 'single buffer'-setting enabled.

Except of the to me unexplainable low ViewPerf result of the AOpen board with the AGP card you can see that the PCI and AGP results are pretty close together and since the AOpen board shows the opposite tendency to the FIC board you certainly can't say it was obvious that AGP is faster.