By Joel Durham Jr.  |  Posted 2002-01-29 Print this article Print

Our other composite test, GameGauge, is actually a conglomerate of seven real-world games: ReVolt, Expendable, Unreal Tournament, Janes USAF, Quake 3 Arena, NFL Fever, and Panzer Elite. That pretty much covers the range of graphics-heavy titles youll run into in the real world.

In the composite score, which is calculated by determining the geometric mean of the frame rates returned in each game test, we see mild variance. The ever-paradoxical Soyo K7ADA board keeps up with the pack, while the ECS K7VTA3 lags behind, but not by an alarming margin.

More interesting are a couple of specific tests, which returned surprising results. The Soyo K7ADA kicked complete and total butt in ReVolt tests (we run three, and the results of the test shown here is typical of the results of all of them). Apparently, that motherboard has a particular knack for the high speed rendering challenges associated with racing titles (yes, we know that ReVolt is an RC racer, but its game engine is inherently similar to other action-oriented racing games).

Meanwhile, we also discovered that both the Soyo K7ADA and the Gigabyte K7VTXH+ hate football. We were so shocked by the Gigabytes seemingly anomalous score that, when wed finished all our testing, we reinstalled the board and reformatted the drive to run the test again. The results turned out to be repeatable. Then, we loaded up Madden 2002 and cranked the detail settings up. It seemed to play just fine. Maybe the Gigabyte board has something against one of the teams in our benchmark demo…

Joel Durham Jr. has loved computers, technology, and gaming since he was a kid, first enjoying the wonders of the Atari 2600 and later indulging in the fabulous graphics of the Commodore 64. His lust for all things technical drove him to eventually seek employment: he landed a job at Computer Concepts, a Rochester-based PC consulting and repair firm, where the company president took Joel on as his apprentice. Within a year, Joel was running the service shop, installing networks for clients, and building systems with glee.

A writer at heart, Joel longed for the glory of seeing his words in print, so in 1997 he left his shop to take a job as PC Gamer's first Technical Editor. After leaving that post to flee the ridiculous cost of living in northern California, Joel worked mostly as a freelance tech writer, taking a year-long break from the mercenary life to telecommute to CNET as the Senior Technical Editor of the now-sadly-defunct Gamecenter. Residing in Upstate New York with his family, Joel repeatedly flung himself at ExtremeTech (which often used his freelance services over the years) until he convinced them to hire him.


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