|Aquamark 3 comes to us by way of Massive Development. Massive's release of the original Aquanox in 1999 wasn't very well received by the gaming community, but it was one of the first games to implement DX8 class shaders, which led to the creation of Aquamark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Since the Aquamark benchmarks are based on an actual game engine, they must support old and new video cards alike. Thus, the latest version of Aquamark, Aquamark 3, utilizes not only DirectX 9 class shaders, but DirectX 8 and DirectX 7 as well. We ran this benchmark at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1600x1200 with no anti-aliasing, with 4x AA, with 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering and lastly with 4X AA and 16X aniso.|
While Aquanox may not be the most acclaimed game on the market, the AquaMark 3 benchmark has proven to be a very capable tool for assessing video card performance. In the process, the test manages to look good, too, and really had impressive image quality with both the X800 Pro and 6800 series cards. From a performance standpoint, the X800 Pro managed to secure the top spot again. The No AA test was a close race with the the X800 Pro and 6800, but as the video quality was stepped up, the ATI card suffered the lesser hit to performance, managing to double the scores of the 6800 in Anisotropic testing.