|Aquamark 3 comes to us by way of 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, which led to the creation of Aquamark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Since 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 1024x768 and 1600x1200 with no anti-aliasing, with 4x AA, with 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering and lastly with 4X AA and 16X aniso.|
The lead changed hands a few times with the Aquamark 3 benchmark. Without any anti-aliasing (the least important of the results), the GeForce 6800 GTs had a clear advantage over all of the other cards. Enabling 4X AA, levels the playing field a bit and the AX800 Pro gains some ground, but the GTs still posted the best scores. When we enabled Anisotropic filtering as well, however, the scales tipped in favor of the AX800 Pro/TD. At 1024x768, the AX800 Pro and GT's performed at virtually the same level, but at 1600x1200 AX800 Pro was the fastest card by at least 12%.