|Aquamark 3 comes to us by way of game developer 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. This led to the creation of Aquamark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Because 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 1,024 x 768 and 1,600 x 1,200 with no anti-aliasing, with 4x AA, and with 4X AA and 8X aniso enabled concurrently.|
All of our AquaMark 3 results were led by the Asus AX800XL. At the lower resolution, the differences between the cards weren't all that large, with 2 or 3 frames separating the AX800XL and NX6800GT, and the 6600GT putting up some relatively decent numbers. Even at 1600x1200, the NX6800GT was still only a few frames behind. When we added some anti-aliasing samples, however, the performance delta really begin to swing more into the Radeon's favor. Here, the AX800XL led the NX6800GT by nearly a third with 4xAA with 8x Aniso enabled.