Under the sea with Aquamark 3
|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.|
With Aquamark 3, we saw some impressive scores posted by the value priced 6600 GT and it easily claimed top honors at both resolutions without anti-aliasing enabled. The real battle, at least at these settings, was for second place, where the 5900XT gave the 9800 Pro a run for the money, but it eventually came up short in both cases. Applying 4xAA and 8X Anisotropic Filtering leveled the playing field to a degree; the 6600 GT still came out on top, but by increasingly smaller performance deltas. At 1600x1200, the overall difference was only 0.38 frames per second.