NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra - NV40 Debuts

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NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra - Page 8

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

By, Marco Chiappetta
April 14, 2004

Performances Comparisons With Novalogic's Comanche 4
Combat Helicopter Sim

Comanche 4

To give you sim fans a small taste of what these cards can do, 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 though, 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 3D accelerators tend to slow down quite a bit.

Like the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo, the GeForce 6800 Ultra was CPU bound when the resolution was set to 1024x768 in the Comanche 4 benchmark.   However, the Radeon 9800 XT's and the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra's performance dropped by about 10% at 1024x768 when AA and aniso were enabled.  With the resolution cranked up to 1600x1200, performance begun to scale accordingly and the GeForce 6800 Ultra proceeded to thump the competition yet again by margins ranging from about 5% to 60%.

Benchmarks / Comparisons 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 excellent Return to Castle Wolfenstein, that 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 our own 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, with 4X AA and 8X aniso and lastly with 4X AA and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.

The GeForce 6800 Ultra pummeled the competition, when we tested it with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and our custom timedemo. Without any anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering enabled, the 6800 Ultra was between 3% and 35% faster than the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra at 1024x768, and about 9% - 29% faster then the Radeon 9800 XT. With AA and Aniso enabled however, the GeForce 6800 Ultra's lead increases to over 40% in some test configurations.  Notably, ATi seems to have fixed the performance issues they had in this game with their latest drivers, but no amount of driver tweaking would have helped them catch the 6800 Ultra here.

Overclocking & Our Final Thoughts

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