changed MB, RAM, OS stil same result
I switched to an m3n-78 nvidia based chipset MB and Patriot RAM XP64 system, got even lower 2d score similiar to original post. I have googled extensively and think this is related to a particular hardware config in some 4890's. However I can play GTAIV at 1920X1080 30hz with settings all high or highest with generally fast framerates (occasional brief lag) so the card can perform well in the 'real' world.
different motherboard 'true' pcieX16 with faster setting "m2r32 mvp"
tried same xfx 4890 with different mothewrboard on new windows7x64 installation. Got 2d result of 7 (solid vector) before installing ati drivers, and still a decent 5 after installing the catalyst 9.8 driver. This m2r32 is a much older motherboard than the m3a78 I was trying it with, but was a much better board for its day. 2 PCI-e slots, both claimed to be 'true x16'. The performance jumped massively from my best results from the m3a78. Don't know what this means .....
nvidia chipset MB fixed problem
i put the same CPU phenom 940 and video card 4890 in a m3n78 nvidai based MB and my 2d results improved to around 4.0. The sever stutter I was gettring in GTA IV also resolved itself, I can now play it at 1920X1080 with 8x edge detect AA and AAA on, with frame rates over 30, never dippiong below 25. It looks amazing. This is without any OC on the CPU. It would seem the ATI chipset(SB700) was the culprit in my case.
I see the same and I think its down to drivers.
Check these scores.
The amd system has a 7600GT and my guess is the lack of WDDM 1.1 on the card prevents the slowdown on newer drivers.
182.50 is a WDDM 1.0 driver.
275.27 is a wDDM 1.1 driver.
On the solid and transparent vector tests on any 1.1 driver the performance takes a nosedive.
The 'this computer' is the intel i5 system with a new GTX 460 in on the 275.33 drivers. The previous was same system with a 8800GT.
For windows 7 you might also want to go to control panel -> performance info & tool -> visual effects -> adjust for best performance. Took the score from a 2.5 to 9 with a gtx 670. Seems like windows is trying to smooth the lines or something.
Yes Dbo you are right on the money..
I don't claim to be sure its not the drivers to blame, just seems like drivers are very commonly used as scape goats or an easy answer if you will. It could just be as simple as windows sucking as an operating system or conflicting with other software. But I'm just happy I have access to performance test to be able to notice this little 2D problems and measure them.
BTW: Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is the compositing window manager that gives you all those pretty effects in Windows Vista: Transparent windows, live taskbar thumbnails (that you can resize now), and even the Flip3D switcher that you can disable and replace with Switcher.
Anyway from what I can tell from experimenting a bit on my own, when it comes to windows 7 and low 2d solid and transparent vector scores, the culprits are Aero themes and "dwm.exe".
Either of these running can interfere with your 2d resource efficiency dramatically when it has to do with solid and transparent vectors. Disable them and you will note a considerable improvement.
dwm.exe can be disabled from services with out serious detriment to your system and of course aero themes are just a matter of preference.
Research on dwm.exe service for your selves before you do anything first, don't just take my word for it. Peace out hope this helps people.