|id Software's games have long been pushing the limits of 3D graphics. Quake, Quake 2 and Quake 3 were all instrumental to the success of 3D accelerators on the PC. Now, years later with virtually every new desktop computer shipping with a 3D accelerator, id is at it again with the release of the visually stunning Doom 3. Doom 3 is an OpenGL game using extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows. We ran benchmarks with Doom 3 set to its "High-Quality" mode, at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1600x1200 without AA or Aniso Filtering enabled and then with 4X AA, and with 4X AA and 16X Aniso enabled.|
And now it's time for some benchmark results using the game that's generating more buzz than an oversized colony of killer-bees jacked up on Red Bull and Skittles - Doom 3. For these tests, we used the timedemo that ships with the game, demo1. We are in the process of creating custom demos for each level, however, and will be using custom tests in the near future, when we're done with our final evaluation of each demo...
With the current state of the game, it's clear that NVIDIA has got a HUGE advantage over ATi in Doom 3. Even the GeForce 6800 GT, which is about $200 cheaper than the X800 XT, is able to handily beat the best ATi currently has to offer by a sizable margin. ATi claims future driver revisions, and potential tweaks to Doom 3 will improve performance on their hardware, but they won't likely be able to make up this much ground with the R420. At 1024x768, without any anti-aliasing, all of the cards we tested performed similarly. Once AA and Aniso were enabled though, the GeForce cards ran away with this benchmark. The eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition was dominant, besting the X800 XT Platinum Edition by 30-37%. At 1600x1200, the Radeon falls well behind in all three test configurations, losing by margins ranging from 30-52%. Let's hope for ATi's sake, this performance pattern doesn't also ring true for future games based on the Doom 3 engine. As it stands today, if you're looking for the ultimate video card for Doom 3, a GeForce 6 series card, and especially the higher-clocked eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition, is for you.