Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
|Based on a heavily modified version of the Unreal Engine, enhanced with a slew of DX9 shaders, lighting and mapping effects, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is gorgeous with its very immersive, albeit dark, environment. The game engine has a shader model 3.0 code path that allows the GeForce 6 & 7 Series of cards, and the new X1000 family of cards, to really shine, and a recent patch has implemented a shader model 2.0 path for ATI's X8x0 generation of graphics hardware. For these tests we enabled the SM 3.0 path on all of the cards we tested. However, High Dynamic Range rendering was disabled so that we could test the game with anti-aliasing enabled (a future patch should enable AA with HDR on the X1K family). We benchmarked the game at resolutions of 1280x1024 and 1600x1200, both with and without anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.|
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory results were more or less a showcase for NVIDIA's trio of cards as they placed first, second, and third at both resolutions - at least until we enabled Anti-aliasing and some Anisotropic Filtering. Unfortunately for the GeForce 7 Series, enabling both of these items pushed the Radeon X1950 Pro to the top of the charts. Within our set of cards, there was a slim margin of difference between the GS and GT variants, with the larger memory based 7950 GT enjoying a 2-4 frame per second lead throughout the testing.