Making Waves with 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 graphics 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.|
The X800 XL cards were running neck and neck in our first run through Aquamark 3. Barely half of a frame separated them, and the GeForce 6800 trailed behind before and after we added some Anti-Aliasing samples and Anisotropic Filtering. At 1600x1200, the two Radeon cards were still slightly faster than the GeForce 6800GT in the standard test, and pulled much further ahead in the final run with AA and Aniso on.