Regulator Map - SM 3.0 vs. SM 2.0
The FarCry v1.2 patch should include four new demos that can be used for benchmarking and, as NVIDIA happily pointed out, clearly show the performance gains associated with using Shader Model 3.0. Although we didn't see any major differences in image quality, using SM3.0 with FarCry means NVIDIA's GeForce 6 series of cards can run some shaders in fewer passes, versus cards like the X800 Pro that comply with Shader Model 2.0.
The 12-Pipe GeForce 6800 and 16-Pipe GeForce 6800 GT both gained a few frames per second by enabling the Shader Model 3.0 code path, but the differences weren't dramatic in this map. The SM 3.0 path cannot be enabled with the Radeon X800 Pro, so there will be only one set of numbers for the Radeon from this point forward.