MSI FX5950 Ultra VTD256

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The MSI FX5950 UltraVTD256 - Page 5

The MSI FX5950 Ultra-VTD256
NVIDIA's Flagship GPU, MSI Style...

By, Marco Chiappetta
February 12, 2004

Performances Comparisons With Novalogic's Comanche 4
Combat Helicopter Sim

Comanche 4

We used Novalogic's combat helicopter simulator Comanche 4 for our next batch of DirectX tests. Comanche 4 uses DX8 class pixel and vertex shaders to produce some of the realistic visuals used throughout the game. Unlike some of the previous tests, this benchmark is heavily influenced by CPU and system memory performance, especially at lower resolutions. However, when the resolution is raised and anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are enabled, the current crop of video cards tend to slow down quite a bit.

Without any anti-aliasing, all of the cards performed at similar levels, with only a few frames per second separating the competitors at both resolutions.  Once AA was enabled though, the Radeons pulled ahead of the MSI FX5950 Ultra.  With 4X AA enabled, both the Radeon 9800 XT and the 256MB Radeon 9800 Pro outpaced the 5950, but the performance differences weren't drastic.  ATi's 6X AA performance once again dominated the 5950 Ultra in this test, however.  The MSI FX5950 Ultra redeemed itself somewhat once we also turn on 8X Anisotropic filtering in conjunction with 4X AA.  In the AA + Aniso tests, the 5950 Ultra won at both resolutions.

Benchmarks / Comparison With Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Q3 Engine Based Freebie

Wolfenstein: ET

We also ran through a batch of timedemos with the OpenGL game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.  Wolfenstein: ET is a free, standalone multiplayer game that is based on the original Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which was released a few years back.  It uses a heavily modified version of the Quake 3 engine which makes it a very easy to use benchmarking tool.  We created a custom demo and used the built-in timedemo feature to check each card's frame rate.  The tests below were run at 1024x768 and again at 1600x1200, without anti-aliasing, with 4X AA and again with 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering.

Here are a couple of graphs that'll make the folks at ATi cringe when they see them!  The MSI FX5950 Ultra crushed the best ATi had to offer in the Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory tests, regardless of resolution or level of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering used.  We should point out that ATi is aware of these performance issues, and should fix them soon.  Here's a quote taken from the Catalyst 4.1 release notes that says ATI is on top of this, "Significant performance loss is noticed in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. This issue is already resolved and a fix will be available in the next CATALYST? driver release".  [ed. As we were posting this article, ATi released the Catalyst 4.2 drivers.  The release notes do not report this issue as being resolved.]

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Tags:  MSI, MS, Ultra, x5, fx, ULT

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