Day 5. Prey
If you’ve enjoyed Doom 3 and Quake 4, you must be facing a difficult choice this summer: to go out to bask in the sun or to stay home and launch Prey on your computer! The collaboration of Human Head Studios and 3D Realms Entertainment has brought forth one of the longest-under-development projects in history. Prey is a sci-fi shooter with an Indian protagonist who’s saving our planet from invading aliens. Running on a greatly modified engine from Doom 3, Prey features high-quality, even though not exactly brilliant, visuals that, coupled with the efforts of the plot writers and the level designers, help create a very engaging atmosphere. Low quality of textures is perhaps the single obvious drawback of this game, so connoisseurs of good 3D graphics should wait for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars to satisfy their aesthetic feeling.
We do not publish the results of the cards in the highest resolution here because this game doesn’t support 1920x1200 resolution unless you perform some special operations in the command console.
The ForceWare driver doesn’t currently support SLI mode for this game, so the Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire has no competitors. The second GPU seems to be rather a burden for the GeForce 7900 GTX SLI and for the GeForce 7950 GX2 because both these solutions are terribly slow at about 25-35fps.
Although the game uses the Doom 3 engine, the GeForce 7900 GTX doesn’t have a very big advantage over the Radeon X1900 XTX. The strong points of ATI’s graphics card in this test are a large number of pixel processors and a unique memory subsystem that copes better with transferring the huge amounts of data that are the result of your using FSAA and high resolutions.
Running on the OpenGL engine from Doom 3, Prey shows all the typical traits of OpenGL-using games. In other words, graphics cards on Nvidia’s GeForce 6 and 7 GPUs have higher results than same-class solutions on ATI’s Radeon X1000 chips.
Here, the Radeon X1900 XT is slower than the GeForce 7900 GTX by about 15-17% in resolutions of 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 pixels. In the former resolution both these card deliver a comfortable performance. The GeForce 7900 GT is close to that, too, but the Radeon X1900 GT with its 12-to-36 ratio of TMUs to pixel processors doesn’t feel at ease in Prey since this game doesn’t require high computational performance, but needs as many texture-processing units as possible.
It’s simple to make a conclusion here: like the rest of games on the Doom 3 engine, this one is an OpenGL application and you can have the best results in it only by using a graphics card on Nvidia’s G71 GPU.