With Unreal Tournament 2003
Performance In The Mainstream
Tournament has consistently been one of the most popular
shooters, and by no coincidence is it also one of the
most used benchmarks for video card testing. There
are many variants to testing the demo version,
one of which is to
use a "Flyby", which plays back a recorded tour of one
of the levels. Here in the labs, we use a custom
INI file that maximizes the graphical settings, and then
displays the average frame rate for three strenuous
resolutions. We chose the 1024x768x32 and
1600x1200x32 scores for our reports, with and without
We kept Anisotropic
filtering disabled here because NVIDIA and ATi aren't
doing the same level of trilinear filtering when aniso
and trilinear are enabled together.
Tournament 2003 was the first chance we got to see any major
differences between the 9600XT and the AA5700U. In
what appears to be the usual case, the 5900XT moved right to
the head of the class, leading in each benchmark except when
applying 6 samples of anti-aliasing at 1024x768. The
AA5700U took an early lead over the 9600XT when no AA
samples were added. It fell slightly behind at the
lower resolution, but the hit was much less pronounced at
1600x1200, allowing it to maintain a decent 45.19 frames per
second. The 9600XT on the other hand, took a drastic
loss in performance, only able to produce 26.71 fps.
We weren't able to get reliable 6XAA scores at 1600x1200 on
the GeForce cards, possibly due to an issue with the latest
ForceWare drivers. We'll keep you posted if we find
out anything further about this.
Stealth Pixel Shading Redefined
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 used 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 the realistic looking ocean
water surrounding the Oil Rig in the demo, as well as
simulating a night vision effect.
As we've mentioned in the past,
anti-aliasing doesn't work with Splinter cell (at least
with the current version). Due to this fact, we do not
have any AA scores listed in the graphs below.
claimed this benchmark as its own, no questions asked.
The AA5700U and the 9600XT, on the other hand, are neck and
neck at both resolutions. There's no way to paint
either as the victor, so we'll have to call it a tie again
this time. What we would like to point out is that the
relative placement of the cards has made changed very little
first time we paired them up, even with newer Catalyst
and ForceWare drivers.
Final Fantasy & Gun Metal Tests