ATI Radeon X800 XL Review

Aquamark 3

Performance Comparisons 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 and with 4x AA and 8X aniso enabled concurrently.


The Aquamark 3 tests also put X800 XL in a favorable light.  In this these tests, the Radeon X800 XL was again able to best NVIDIA's flagship GeForce 6800 Ultra in a couple of configurations.  At 1024x768, the Radeon X800 XL lagged just a couple of frames per second behind the 6800 Ultra when no anti-aliasing or ansio was used, only to pull ahead of the Ultra slightly once they were enabled.  The X800 XL beat the 6800 GT in both test configurations at the lower resolution. With Aquamark set to run at a resolution of 1600x1200, the X800 XL again lost to the 6800 Ultra, but this time by about 10%, when no AA or aniso filtering was used.  It pulled ahead of the Ultra again when anti-aliasing and aniso was enabled, however, and by a margin of roughly 12%.

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