With Unreal Tournament 2003
Performance In The Mainstream
Tournament has consistently been one of the most popular
shooters, and by no coincidence is it also one of the
most used benchmarks for video card testing. There
are many variants to testing the demo version,
one of which is to
use a "Flyby", which plays back a recorded tour of one
of the levels. Here in the labs, we use a custom
INI file that maximizes the graphical settings, and then
displays the average frame rate for three strenuous
resolutions. We chose the 1024x768x32 and
1600x1200x32 scores for our reports, with and without
At the lower resolution,
the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra posted up the highest overall
frame rate at 114.45 frames per second, followed by the 5600
Ultra and then the Radeon 9600 XT. When applying 4 or
6 samples of anti-aliasing, the two GeForce FX cards both
dropped behind the 9600 XT by a wide margin. At
1600x1200, we see the same differences. The 5700 Ultra
beat out the Radeon by almost 2 frames per second, and the
5600 Ultra by close to 26. Even more impressively,
when 4XAA was applied, a hit was felt by all cards, but the
5700 Ultra still managed to keep around 45 FPS. The
other two cards both dropped into the mid twenties. A
clear-cut victory for the 5700 Ultra.
Stealth Pixel Shading Redefined
Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three demos
in addition to a benchmarking feature, but this appears
to be more CPU limited than VPU. So, in order to
come up with some more meaningful results, we used the
Oil Rig demo created by the folks at Beyond 3D.
This demo removes two CPU intensive routines while
increasing dependence on Pixel Shader performance.
Shaders are used to render the realistic looking ocean
water surrounding the Oil Rig, as well as simulating a
night vision display.
As we've mentioned in the past, anti-aliasing
doesn't work with Splinter cell (at least with the
current version). Due to this fact, we do not have
any AA scores listed in the graphs below.
At both resolutions, we saw
the same placement of the cards, although the delta between
the two GeForce cards was more pronounced at 1600x1200.
It is well-known that DX9 pixel and vertex shaders
performance has been a problem for NVIDIA, and the early
word on version the ForceWare 52.16 drivers was that these
issues would be addressed. So far in our testing with
Splinter Cell, we have seen some needed improvement.
The 5700 Ultra came in second place, and it makes a large
improvement over the 5600 Ultra, using its higher core speed
and DDR2 memory.
Final Fantasy & Gun Metal Tests