|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 enabled and with 4X AA and 8X aniso enabled concurrently.|
Aquamark 3's performance profile was very similar to Splinter Cell's. With Aquamark 3, the 512MB Radeon X800 XL performed on par with the 256MB variant, outpacing the 256MB card by a tiny margin at both resolutions in both test configurations. The same held true when testing with the Catalyst v5.6 drivers. Overall performance was up slightly with the Catalyst v5.6s, but not enough to be considered significant.