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Making Waves with Aquamark 3

Making Waves With Aquamark 3
DX8 & DX9 Shaders

Aquamark 3
Aquamark 3 comes to us by way of game developer Massive Development. Massive's release of the original Aquanox in 1999 wasn't very well received by the gaming community, but it was one of the first games to implement DX8-class shaders.  This led to the creation of Aquamark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Because the Aquamark benchmarks are based on an actual game engine, they must support old and new video cards alike. Thus, the latest version of Aquamark, Aquamark 3, utilizes not only DirectX 9-class shaders, but DirectX 8 and DirectX 7, as well. We ran this benchmark at resolutions of 1,024 x 768 and 1,600 x 1,200 with no anti-aliasing, with 4x AA, and with 4X AA and 8X aniso enabled concurrently.

 

Aquamark 3 was the first set of benchmarks we used that incorporate testing with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering enabled.  As you can see in the graphs, the effect on performance that this extra filtering has is about the same with each card.  At lower resolutions, the hit taken was about 20-30 percent for the PC6600U and X700 Pro, but much less so for the X800XL.  As expected, raising the resolution only exacerbated the drop in frame rates on all cards, with the PC6600 feebly pushing out 16.32 frames per second at 1600x1200 with 4xAA/8xAF.  This amounted to an 8 frame drop off, a 40 percent difference.

 


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