NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra - NV40 Debuts

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NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra - Page 6

The GeForce 6800 Ultra
NVIDIA's NV40 Debuts...

By, Marco Chiappetta
April 14, 2004

Head-to-Head Performance With Unreal Tournament 2004
Epic's Next Smash Hit!

Unreal Tournament 2K4

Epic's "Unreal" games have been wildly popular, ever since the original Unreal was released in the late '90s.  Unreal, Unreal Tournament, and then Unreal Tournament 2003, rapidly became some of our favorites, for both benchmarking, and for killing a few hours when our schedules allowed it!  Epic recently released the latest addition to the franchise, Unreal Tournament 2004.  We used the demo version of the game to benchmark these cards at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1600x1200, without any anti-aliasing, with 4x AA, with 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering and lastly with 4X AA and 16X aniso.

We ran a timedemo that uses the "Colossus" map on all three of the cards.  Unfortunately, the lower-resolution benchmark doesn't yield much useful information because the test was CPU limited on both GeForces and the Radeon, regardless of whether or not anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering was used.  When we upped the resolution to 1600x1200, however, things got a little more interesting. The GeForce 6800 Ultra was still CPU bound, until we enabled 4X AA and 8X aniso concurrently.  The Radeon 9800 XT's and GeForce FX 5950 Ultra's frame-rates, on the other hand, dropped off quite a bit once we enabled AA and aniso at the higher resolution.

Performances Comparisons With Splinter Cell
Stealthy Combat

Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three pre-recorded demos and incorporates a previously unavailable benchmarking tool.  The demos included with the patch are somewhat limited by CPU performance, however, so we opted for the custom Oil Rig demo created by the folks at Beyond 3D to test with this game.  Beyond 3D's demo removes two CPU intensive routines while increasing dependence on Pixel Shader performance.  Shaders are used to render realistic looking ocean water surrounding an Oil Rig in the demo, as well as simulating a night vision effect for a brief period.  Also note that anti-aliasing doesn't work with Splinter Cell.  Due to this fact, we do not have any AA scores listed in the graphs below.

Score another decisive victory for the GeForce 6800 Ultra.  In the Splinter Cell benchmark, the GeForce 6800 Ultra, yet again, outclassed the previous generation's high-end cards.  At 1024x768, the 6800 Ultra outperformed the 9800 XT by about 61% and it smoked the 5950 Ultra by over 87%.  With the resolution set to 1600x1200, the GeForce 6800 Ultra's lead over the 9800 XT increased to 78% and its lead over the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra swelled to over 105%!

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