The Gateway 7200XL fared better on our 3D gaming performance tests than it did on our application performance tests. On our highest-end Unreal Tournament 2003 benchmarks (at 1,600x1,200 resolution), it slightly trailed a Velocity Micro ProMagix PCX, which boasts both an overclocked processor (P4 560) and video card (GeForce 6800 Ultra). The Gateway 7200XL bested scores produced by a Cyberpower Gamer Infinity 6800GT system and its 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition chip and GeForce 6800 GT graphics card. It isn't a huge surprise that the Gateway prevails on this test over the Cyberpower, given the 7200XL's superior ATI graphics card, but again, the Cyberpower costs about $900 more. For older 3D games, the Gateway 7200XL will provide more than enough 3D processing power.
To measure 3D gaming performance, CNET Labs uses Epic Games' Unreal Tournament 2003, widely used as an industry-standard benchmark. We use Unreal to measure a desktop's performance with the DirectX 8.0 (DX8) interface at a 32-bit color depth and at a resolution of 1,024x768 and 1,600x1,200. Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are disabled during our 1,024x768 tests and are set to 4X and 8X, respectively, during our 1,600x1,200 tests. At this color depth and these resolutions, Unreal provides an excellent means of comparing the performance of low-end to high-end graphics subsystems. We report the results of Unreal's Flyby-Antalus test in frames per second (fps).
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Far Cry 1,024x768 4xAA 8xAF||Far Cry 1,600x1,200 4xAA 8xAF|
The 7200XL turned in similar results on our Far Cry 3D gaming tests. Far Cry is more representative of games you'll play down the road, and the Gateway 7200XL handled it well, scoring 76.5fps on the midrange 1,024x768 resolution. This score is not mind-boggling, but it's certainly healthy, and, in addition to beating the higher-priced competition, it suggests that the Gateway 7200XL will give you a solid foundation for gaming, provided you're satisfied playing games at standard-detail quality settings.
For high-end gaming PCs, we've added UbiSoft Entertainment's Far Cry to our benchmark arsenal. Far Cry is a DirectX 9.0-based game that uses a number of advanced rendering techniques, all of which combine to produce some of the most realistic scenery and physics we've seen in a game title to date. As such, it is very demanding on a graphics subsystem and, therefore, an excellent tool for evaluating high-end PCs. In our tests, we run a custom demo on the Rebellion level and run it two times each at a 32-bit color depth and at resolutions of 1,024x768 and 1,600x1,200. Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are set to 4X and 8X for both resolutions during our 1,600x1,200 tests. After installing the retail game, we patch it to version 1.1.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Cyberpower Gamer Infinity 6800GT
Windows XP Professional; 3.4GHz Intel P4 Extreme; Intel 925X chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT (PCIe); two WDC WD740GD-00FLX0 74GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA; Maxtor 7Y250M0 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Silicon Image SiI 3114 SATA RAID controller
Windows XP Home SP2; 3.6GHz Intel P4 560; Intel 915GSE chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB ATI Radeon X800XT (PCIe); WDC WD2500JD-22HBB0 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
MPC ClientPro 565
Windows XP Professional SP2; 3.6GHz Intel P4 560; Intel 925XCV chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 5750 Ultra (PCIe); two Seagate ST3200822AS 200GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Intel 82801FR SATA RAID controller
Polywell Poly 939VF-FX53
Windows XP Professional; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-53; Via K8T800 Pro chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce FX 5900XT (AGP); two WDC WD740GD-00FLX0 74GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA; integrated WinXP Promise FastTrak 579 controller
Velocity Micro ProMagix PCX
Windows XP Professional; 3.6GHz Intel P4 560; Intel 925X chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra (PCIe); two WDC WD740GD-00FLX0 74GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA; Hitachi HDS724040KLSA80 400GB Serial ATA 7,200rpm; integrated Intel 82801FR SATA RAID controller
Gateway's Web site offers tutorials, driver downloads, manuals, and other info in a generally organized, accessible format. You can obtain help over online chat and e-mail and via a fee-based support service. The system documentation was sparse, though, with little beyond a quick-setup sheet to help you out.
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