|Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three pre-recorded demos and incorporates a previously unavailable benchmarking tool. The demos included with the patch are somewhat limited by CPU performance, however, so we opted for the custom Oil Rig demo created by the folks at Beyond 3D to test with this game. Beyond 3D's demo removes two CPU intensive routines while increasing dependence on Pixel Shader performance. Shaders are used to render realistic looking ocean water surrounding an Oil Rig in the demo, as well as simulating a night vision effect for a brief period. Also note that anti-aliasing doesn't work with Splinter Cell. Due to this fact, we do not have any AA scores listed in the graphs below.|
While we've been itching to start playing the sequel, Pandora Tomorrow, the first Splinter Cell was well known for bringing video cards to their knees. That may come to an end with the release of the next-gen cards. While the 5950 Ultra mustered up 36.5 fps, the 6800 nearly doubled its output, able to generate just over 67 fps. The GT models fared even better, with BFG's overclocked version topping out at 83.29fps at 1024x768, a whopping 128% increase in performance over the 5950 Ultra, and 13% better than it's current rival, the Radeon X800 Pro. We saw the same deltas in the second test at 1600x1200 as well. Without any other graphical optimizations, we were able to sustain close to 60 frames per second in Splinter Cell, even at 1600x1200 using the GeForce 6800 GT cards.