S3's DeltaChrome

S3's DeltaChrome - Page 4

The S3 DeltaChrome S8 & S8 Nitro
A Veteran Re-Enters The Fray...

By, Marco Chiappetta
March 9, 2004

Benchmarks With Unreal Tournament 2003
DX8 Performance

Unreal Tournament 2003

Epic's Unreal Tournament series has consistently been one of the most popular first person shooters, and by no coincidence is it also one of the most commonly used video card benchmarks. We continued our DirectX benchmarking with a completely patched, retail version Unreal Tournament 2003. When benchmarking with UT2003, we use a utility that ensures all of the cards are being tested with the exact same in-game settings and "High-Quality" graphical options. We ran the UT2003 benchmarks at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1600x1200 without anti-aliasing, and then again with 2X AA enabled. We kept Anisotropic filtering disabled in UT2003 because NVIDIA and ATi aren't doing the same level of trilinear filtering when aniso and trilinear are enabled together.

Without any anti-aliasing, the DeltaChrome S8 and S8 Nitro performed admirably in the Unreal Tournament 2003 benchmark.  Once again, they were the lowest performing cards coming in about 20% behind the nearest competition, but at frame rates hovering around 100 FPS at 1024x768, we won't really complain.  At 1600x1200, the DeltaChromes couldn't quite break the magical 60FPS mark, but in general, anyone in the market for a card in this price range can't expect playable frame rates at resolutions this high anyway.  Enabling anti-aliasing with the DeltaChromes in this test caused a massive hit in frame rate, nearly halving their performance at 1024x768.  At 1600x1200 with AA enabled though, the S8 Nitro nearly caught the 9600 XT.  Perhaps with some further driver optimizations and a bump in clock speed, the DeltaChromes may be able to climb out of the basement in the high-res UT2003 test.  Time will tell...

Head-to-Head Performance With Splinter Cell
Stealth Pixel Shading

Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three pre-recorded demos and incorporates a previously unavailable benchmarking tool.  The demos included with the patch are somewhat limited by CPU performance, however, so we used 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 the realistic looking ocean water surrounding the Oil Rig in the demo, as well as simulating a night vision effect.  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.

The put it mildly, the S3 DeltaChrome S8 and S8 Nitro got annihilated at both resolutions in the Splinter Cell benchmark.  At 1024x768, the faster of the DeltaChrome cards - the S8 Nitro - was about 45% slower than the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, which came in slightly behind the Radon 9600 XT.  With the resolution cranked up to 1600x1200, the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra couldn't quite catch the Radeon 9600 XT, but it was still about 65% faster than either of the DeltaChromes.  Like with Halo, the S3 cards also had a slight rendering problem in this test.  At one point late in the demo, the DeltaChromes did not render a shadow cast by a large grate just above the water properly.  Other than this minor problem, however, the rest of the demo looked great on the DeltaChromes.

Final Fantasy & Gun Metal Tests

Tags:  S3, Chrome, Delta, rom, AC

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