|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 antialiasing and with 4x AA and 8X aniso enabled concurrently.|
Looking at the graphs above, you'd think NVIDIA stopped paying attention to this benchmark. Just like we saw in the Tomb Raider: AOD test, the Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition was able to beat all of the other cards we tested in the Aquamark 3 benchmark, at both resolutions, regardless of the test configuration. At 1,024 x 768 the X850 XT PE outperformed the GeForce 6800 Ultra by about 2% - 8%. In the higher-resolution tests, though, the new Radeon was able to increase its lead significantly. At 1,600 x 1,200, the X850 was as much as 33.1% faster than NVIDIA's flagship GeForce 6800 Ultra.