Performance in Simulators
IL-2 Sturmovik: Aces in the Sky
IL-2 is rich in both textures and shaders. The latter are mainly used to render the water surface, which looks very impressive from above. The game supports Direct3D as well as OpenGL, but defaults to the latter.
There are no questions as to the winner in the sector of topmost cards: the GeForce 6800 Ultra and 6800 GT benefit by their high fill rate and the quality OpenGL driver from NVIDIA. NVIDIA also wins in the mainstream sector with both versions of the GeForce 6600 GT. The RADEON X700 XT evidently suffers from the small size of the texture caches in this flight simulator where huge textures are in use.
The NVIDIA team retains its leadership in the high-end sector, and the GeForce 6600 GT AGP outperforms the RADEON 9800 XT, but the gap diminishes in higher resolutions. The PCI Express version of this GeForce is ahead of the RADEON X700 XT in all resolutions. As for the RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition, it is as fast as the GeForce 6800 GT in the “eye candy” mode, but that’s not satisfying for a $549 card!
The SLI mode doesn’t work correctly with this game: there are image artifacts where pixel shaders are used, for example, to draw the water.