|Aquamark 3 comes to us by way of game developer Massive Development. Massive's release of the original Aquanox in 1999 wasn't very well received by the gaming community, but it was one of the first games to implement DX8-class shaders. This led to the creation of Aquamark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Because the Aquamark benchmarks are based on an actual game engine, they must support old and new video cards alike. Thus, the latest version of Aquamark, Aquamark 3, utilizes not only DirectX 9-class shaders, but DirectX 8 and DirectX 7, as well. We ran this benchmark at resolutions of 1,024 x 768 and 1,600 x 1,200 with no anti-aliasing and with 4x AA and 8X aniso enabled concurrently.|
The Sapphire Hybrid Radeon X800 XL proved to be quite adept at running Massive Development's Aquamark 3 benchmark. With Aquamark 3 running at 1024x768, Sapphire's X800 XL managed to outperform the GeForce 6800 GT in both test configurations, and even squeaked by the 6800 Ultra when anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering were enabled. At 1600x1200, the X800 XL again performed well, besting both of the 6800s when AA and aniso were enabled, but in the default test at the higher resolution the 6800s were slightly faster.