id Software's games have long been pushing the limits of 3D Graphics. Quake, Quake 2, and Quake 3 were all instrumental in the success of 3D accelerators on the PC. Now, years later, with virtually every new PC shipping with a 3D accelerator of some sort, id is at it again with the release of the visually stunning Doom 3. Doom 3 is an OpenGL based game using extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows. We ran custom demo benchmarks with Doom 3 set to its "High-Quality" mode, at resolutions of 1,024 x 768 and 1,600 x 1,200 with 8X Anisotropic Filtering and with 4X AA and 8X Aniso enabled. Note: Doom 3 enables 8X anisotropic filtering automatically when set to "High Quality" in the game's control panel.
Doom 3 typically fares better on GeForce cards, so we weren't completely surprised when the 6800GT outperformed the two X800 XLs. With the strengths of the three cards relatively similar, we would have expected frame rates more in line with each other, probably closer to what we saw with the 4xAA/8x Aniso tests. As for Asus' AX800XL, it finished a disappointing third in all our tests, although just barely behind the ATi built card.