Guru3D has got their hands on Detonator 51.75 drivers from NVIDIA and the new Aquamark III benchmark. With this new DirectX9 benchmark, which is based on a real life gaming engine, they have tested some of the latest nVidia GeForce FX and ATI Radeon graphics cards. The results are interesting, because they look completely different than the DirectX9 performance that Valve showed.
We used the soon to be released AquaMark 3 self proclaimed DX 9 benchmark which definitely makes good use of DirectX 9 Pixel and Vertex Shaders 2.0
IQ wise it's hard to tell the difference, I can only hope that NVIDIA did not do any nasty stuff, there's no guarrantee though. However, it doesn't seem like it.
As can see the new dets definitely show a potential 10-15% performance increase over the previous official build which brings it very close to Radeon 9800 Pro for DX9 titles. The 51.xx series are still work in progress though. The drivers are revised on many levels including new features and layout. I'm not going into detail as NVIDIA would not be exactly happy about that.
One can not deny that Radeon 9800 Pro still has the performance edge and the better DX9 solution, yet NVIDIA definitely is doing their part to get performance back on track as you can see from the results.
Here are Guru3D his results in WinXP from a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 (with 800MHz FSB), on a Springdale system with 1GB of DDR400 memory and PAT enabled.