A DirectX benchmarking tool that I particularly like to use
in our reviews is Remedy's Max Payne. Using the
benchmarking routine that can be found on
http://www.3dcenter.de, we watched the ending of the
game, while keeping an eye on the frames per second.
Finally, right at the end, we took one last reading and
compared the respective cards results.
In the first set of numbers,
the Tachyon G9500 only lost a total of ten frames per second
from the first test to the last one with 4XAA and 8XAF
That's roughly a drop of 13% in performance when
sharpening up the graphics. Compare that to the GeForce 4 cards where the drop
was nearly 50%!
There's really no excuse these days to not optimize the
in-game graphics somewhat, especially when you've got a
R300 or R350 under the hood. At 1600x1200, the
drop-off was more severe than at 1024x768. We were
still able to get close to 43 fps, however, with 4XAA and
8X Anisotropic Filtering enabled. The GF4 cards were
all but crippled when using such optimizations at
Comanche 4 - DirectX 8.1 Performance
Our next look at DirectX
benchmarking was with NovaLogic's Comanche 4 Demo. As with
Max Payne, one of the benefits of this benchmark is that we get a
"real-world" result. We can see with
our own eyes how the gameplay will be, and the actual
average framerate is shown at the end of the demonstration. Comanche 4
also uses DirectX8 Pixel and Vertex shaders, and is a useful
tool for testing overall system performance. This
benchmark is very CPU dependant, so don't be turned off by
what might look like relatively low frame rates.
Unlike the previous rounds of
testing, the Tyan Tachyon G9500 did not come out on top. It
was bested by both GeForce 4 cards at 1024x768. That is,
until we started enabling Anti-Aliasing methods. At
the lower resolution, 2 samples of AA had no effect on the
Tachyon, and our score actually went up slightly. Even
4 samples of AA only caused us to lose 3 frames per second.
The GeForce cards, which had taken an early lead, started to
fall off, especially so when 4XAA was enabled.
Where we had lost 3 frames on the Tachyon G9500 Pro, the GF4 cards
each lost 12 or so frames, equating to approximately a 20%
drop-off. At 1600x1200, the GF4 Ti4600 still held the
lead at first, but by a much smaller margin than before. The
Tachyon G9500 Pro finished higher than the Ti4200
without optimizations, and then went on to completely steal
the show once AA and Anisotropic Filtering methods were
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