Performance in First Person 3D Shooters
This is a representative of the very popular genre of tactical 3D shooters that focus on planning and teamwork rather than on the gamer’s reflexes and shooting skill. Unlike many projects of that kind, Battlefield 2 is a large-scale game and is rather sluggish even on one gigabyte of system memory as a result. The gaming process involves using land and surface vehicles as well as helicopters and jets, so you shouldn’t wonder at the high memory requirements – you’ll want 2 gigabytes or even more to play with maximum comfort.
The game is very appealing visually; its numerous special effects make it beautiful, yet not as demanding as, for example, F.E.A.R.
The game depicting large-scale battles, the CPU unavoidably becomes a bottleneck at some point. We can see it for top-end graphics cards like the GeForce 7800 GTX and the SLI platforms with two GeForce 7800 GTX and GeForce 6800 Ultra.
In a lower sector the GeForce 6800 Ultra and GT are faster than the RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition and X850 XT in resolutions above 1024x768, but the GeForce 6800 is quite expectedly worse than the RADEON X800 XL, the latter having 16 pixel pipelines and costing $100 more.
And lower yet, the GeForce 6600 GT leaves the RADEON X700 PRO behind thanks to the high frequencies – 256 megabytes of onboard memory give no advantage to the RADEON, at least in the “pure speed” mode. The RADEON X700 rules in the entry-level sector as it works at 400/700MHz frequencies (GPU/memory) against the 300/500MHz of GeForce 6600.
It’s all different in the “eye candy” mode. The SLI platform with two GeForce 7800 GTX remains on top, but the RADEON X850 XT PE and the RADEON X850 XT are ahead of the GeForce 6800 Ultra and even leave the single GeForce 7800 GTX behind in high resolutions. This is one of those cases when an efficient graphics memory subsystem is more important for the end result than the architectural features of a GPU. The same is true for the less advanced graphics card models.