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 game,
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. We chose the 1024x768x32 and
1600x1200x32 scores for our report, with and without
We kept Anisotropic
filtering disabled here because NVIDIA and ATi aren't
doing the same level of trilinear filtering when aniso
and trilinear are enabled together.
performance of all four cards started out on similar footing
at the lower resolution, which quickly changed once we
Anti-Aliasing. While the 9600 XT and 5700 Ultra saw an
immediate drop-off in frames, the 5950 and 5900 SE were
barely affected. ATi's mainstream Radeon entry does
make up some ground when we get to 6XAA, besting even the
5950 Ultra. We noticed a somewhat larger gap between
the top two cards at 1600x1200, although the 5900SE is still
putting up good numbers. So good, in fact, that it's
4X AA numbers were very close to the remaining two cards'
normal benchmark scores.
Stealth Pixel Shading Redefined
Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three demos
in addition to a benchmarking feature. We used the
Oil Rig demo created by the folks at Beyond 3D to
benchmark with Splinter Cell. 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
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.
graphs are nearly identical in structure, if not in score.
We've got the 5950 Ultra leading the pack, followed close
behind by the 5900 SE. The differences between the two
are solely due to the lower clock speeds of the SE model.
The 5700 Ultra, which actually does have higher core and
memory speeds, is hampered by its dual pipelines and 128-bit
memory interface and falls to the back of the pack behind to
Radeon 9600 XT.
Final Fantasy & Gun Metal Tests