With X2 - The Threat, Rolling Demo
A Hot new Space Combat and Multi-Role DX9
The Threat is a game that is due out in
November, that probably hasn't received too much
press...that is, until now. A rolling demo
version can be downloaded from
and it is simply a gorgeous space simulation.
The benchmark is enabled by a checkbox control
panel within the demo. Egosoft promises
that X2 will provide gamers with the best gaming
experience with sound and graphics to match, and
based on what we saw in the demo, we would have
We ran the
demo at default settings and with 4X AA and 4X AA with 8X
Aniso Filtering enabled in respective driver control
panels. The results were somewhat impressive for the
GeForce FX 5950. However, we need to point out that
playback on the GFFX cards wasn't nearly as smooth as with
the Radeons. It was as if the GeForce FX cards were
dropping frames, which could possibly account for some of
their performance advantage here. We recall seeing
this sort of behavior with Novalogic's Comanche 4, way
back when with ATi cards, just as the Radeon 9700 was
released. A driver release later and all was cured
by ATi. NVIDIA has commented to us that this is a
known issue with X2 and will be fixed in the next driver
release, after Detonator FX 52.16.
Since this is
a yet to be released title, take the scores here with a
grain of salt, since there is probably a fair amount of
tweaking that is going on at this very moment with the
game engine and graphics card drivers as well. We
still wanted to provide the numbers for you here however
and give you a sneak peek on the game. It really is
that impressive looking.
We going to
reserve much comment on these scores, NVIDIA's cards
clearly have the lead here but it could very well be that
they are dropping every third frame (or whatever) for all
we know. We've asked for some detail from NVIDIA on
this and will update this section as appropriate.
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
GPU. 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 focuses mainly on Pixel Shader performance,
with its water pixel shader effects and the night vision
goggle pixel shader effects.
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.
However, it is
definitely worth noting that the graphical anomalies we have
seen historically with the water pixel shader effect and
previous Detonator releases has also now been addressed.
The Detonator 52.16 driver set renders Splinter Cell's
water effect accurately and without drop outs in surface
Any way you slice it, ATi's
architecture and drivers just do better with this scene area
within Splinter Cell. We're not sure if its the water
pixel shader or the night vision shader that allows ATi to
excel. However, these are also not PS2.0 or DX9
effects. It's surprising that NVIDIA still loses here,
even if it is on the order of only 3% at default and 10% or
so, with Aniso Filtering enabled.
Since at 1600X1200 we
experienced, nearly identical results that scale with
resolution, there isn't much more to say here, so we'll move
Tomb Raider AOD And Wolfenstein Enemy Territory