|To give you sim fans a small taste of what these cards can do, we used Novalogic's combat helicopter simulator Comanche 4 for our next batch of DirectX tests. Comanche 4 uses DX8 class pixel and vertex shaders to produce some of the realistic visuals used throughout the game. Unlike some of the previous tests though, this benchmark is heavily influenced by CPU and system memory performance, especially at lower resolutions. However, when the resolution is raised and anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are enabled, the current crop of 3D accelerators tend to slow down quite a bit.|
The initial results at 1024x768 pretty much showcase our point on how CPU-limited this benchmark really is. We can clearly see how the frame rates are held in check by the CPU over the GPU when we see less than a single frame and a half was lost from the BFG 6800 GT OC with 4xAA and 16x Anisotropic Filtering enabled. Thus, it's probably safe to say that with older DX based games, there will be little if any problem playing the game with the image quality settings maxed out. Of course, we could really say that about all of the cards at this resolution, as only the Radeon 9800XT seemed to lose some steam at 4xAA with Aniso, dropping about 10 frames in this test.
We've got some larger drop offs at 1600x1200 that will hopefully point out relative strengths and weaknesses a little better. All of the GeForce cards start out above the Radeons - even the 5950 Ultra is outpacing the X800 Pro here. 4XAA take a bite out of the frame rates, however, most notably on the GeForce 6800, the 5950 Ultra, and the Radeon 9800XT. This is further compounded by the addition of Anisotropic Filtering, limiting the frame rates down to around 40 fps and below. The other three cards are much less affected, dropping only a few frames with each optimization. Overall, the Radeon X800 Pro lost just over 10 fps, a performance drop of about 17% while the BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC lost a total of 15 frames, equating to just over 23%.