Tomb Raider: AOD
|Although Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness won't be winning any "Game of the Year" awards, it is one of the more advanced DirectX games currently available. We've recorded a custom demo of Lara jogging through an indoor garden area in the "Prague3" map. When using the Pixel Shader 2.0 code path, this area of the game utilizes a DOF (depth of field) blurring effect to enhance the sense of depth and size. We ran our custom demo at a resolution of 1024x768 and then again at 1600x1200, using both the Pixel Shader 1.4 and 2.0 code paths (with and without 4x anti-aliasing in the PS 2.0 tests).|
We've got a lot going on in these graphs, so let's get right to it. Using the older Pixel Shader 1.4 technology, it seems that all of the cards in the pool were able to produce relatively the same output at 1024x768; less than four frames per second separate the leader (the GeForce 6800 model outperformed the 6800 GTs) from the bottom card. Using Pixel Shader 2.0 code, however, we saw a sharp decline with the older cards, especially with the GFFX 5950 Ultra, whose frame rates were nearly halved. The GeForce 6800 cards, as well as the Radeon X800 Pro, were only slightly affected, each losing about ten frames or so. Furthermore, applying 4X Anti-Aliasing again resulted in minor performance loss for most of these cards, although the GeForce 6800 stumbled a bit, slipping down to "only" 65.78 fps.
At 1600x1200, we saw much more separation between the cards across the board. At this resolution, the GeForce 6800 found it hard to keep up with its more powerful cousin, the 6800GT, and the Radeon X800 Pro. In fact, the Radeon X800 Pro climbed into the second position over all when using the PS 1.4 path, falling in right behind the overclocked 6800 GT. If not for the pre-overclocked state that BFG provided, the X800 Pro would be tops here. Using PS 2.0 shader paths put the GeForce 6800 cards back on top, however, with even the standard 6800 model outperforming the X800 Pro with 4x AA applied. Obviously, NVIDIA has put some serious effort into correcting past problems with PS 2.0 (and hopefully PS 3.0) in both their hardware and drivers.