Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
|We've recently added Ubisoft's great new game, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, to our suite of game benchmarks. Based on a heavily modified version of the Unreal Engine, enhanced with a slew of DX9 shaders, lighting and mapping effects, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is gorgeous with its very immersive, albeit dark environment. The game engine has a shader model 3.0 code path that allows the GeForce 6 & 7 Series of cards, and the new X1000 family of cards, to really shine, and a recent patch has implemented a shader model 2.0 path for ATI's X8x0 generation of graphics hardware. For these tests we enabled the SM 3.0 path on the GeForce cards and the X1000 cards, but the SM 2.0 path was enabled for the older Radeons. High Dynamic Range rendering and parallax mapping were disabled, and we benchmarked the game at resolutions of 1,280 x 1024 and 1,600 x 1,200, both with and without anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.|
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory proved to be somewhat of a strong point for ATI's new high-end cards. However, the Radeon X1600 XT took a bit of a beating. The X1600 XT consistently trailed behind the pack and was clearly outpaced by every other card we tested. The Radeon X1800 XL performed fairly well, but was outpaced by GeForce 7800 GT, GTX and SLI configurations in all but one test configuration. However, the X1800 XT was strong here. When AA and Aniso were enabled, the Radeon X1800 XT was the fastest single-card configuration we tested. The multi-GPU configurations had no problem pulling ahead of the XT, though.
The main batch of Splinter Cell benchmarks above were run with some of the advanced Shader Model 3.0 features disabled, to keep the playing field level between the SM 2.0 and SM 3.0 capable cards. We though that most of you would be interested to see what happens when "everything is turned on", however. To get the scores listed here, we turned on the SM 3.0 path, and enabled all of the image quality enhancing features associated with it, including HDR rendering, tone mapping, and parallax mapping. Unfortunately, although the Radeon X1800 XT is technically capable of applying AA in HDR mode, the option to enable AA was disabled when HDR was switched on. We did enabled 16x anisotropic filtering, though. As you can see, with everything "turned on", the Radeon X1800 XT performed very well in Splinter Cell: Choas Theory, besting the GeForce 7800 GTX by about 10% in both test configurations.