S3's DeltaChrome S4 Pro
|Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three prerecorded 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. As such, we do not have any AA scores listed in the graphs below.|
None of the cards tested here had an easy time with Splinter Cell. The eight-pipeline DeltaChrome S8 had an obvious advantage, but with only 17.77 frames per second at 1024x768, Splinter Cell would hardly be considered playable. When comparing the entry-level cards to each other, the GeForce FX 5200 Ultra held onto the lead at both resolutions, followed by the DeltaChrome S4 and Radeon 9200 SE. With some driver optimizations with regard to pixel shader performance, S3 will probably be able to increase the performance on their parts in Splinter Cell somewhat, but don't expect any miracles. You'll have to lower the resolution and in-game image quality settings to get playable frame rates with this game.