Performance in Splinter Cell: Double Agent
The sequel to the popular third-person shooter series of Splinter Cell will tell you about new adventures of agent Fisher who is has to penetrate into the terrorist organization called JBA and perform their jobs for a while, which explains the name of the game. SC: DA offers you a couple of new tricks like the main character’s ability to hide under a table and to drag enemies down under water.
Featuring improved graphics (in comparison with the previous titles of the series) and not very complex missions, Double Agent can be the entertainment to pass away the sixth night of your gaming week with.
Unfortunately, the game refused to run on the GeForce 8800 GTX, issuing an error message all the time. This is just another indication that the new generation of Nvidia’s graphics cards is still not 100% stable and compatible with existing software. We have to wait for this problem to be corrected in the next version of ForceWare or in the next patch to Splinter Cell: Double Agent. So, owners of GeForce 8800 series cards cannot as yet enjoy this game.
When it comes to graphics cards with ordinary, non-unified architecture, we can state that Nvidia’s multi-GPU concept does not work again. The GeForce 7950 GX2 is far slower than the AMD Radeon X1950 XTX and does not allow using full-screen antialiasing in neither of the standard resolutions. Judging by the obtained data, only one graphics core is in fact active in this test. This shows once again that the GeForce 7950 GX2 depends on how SLI technology is supported by the driver for each particular game.
The Radeon X1950 XTX is not very fast, either, but its average frame rate of 35fps with occasional slowdowns to 25-26fps allows playing SC: Double Agent normally because you don’t need as high a frame rate as in a first-person shooter to play a third-person one.
So, if you have earlier preferred the Nvidia GeForce 7950 GS to other cards, you may find that SLI technology is not compatible with new games and the graphics card does not deliver the performance you might expect from it because Nvidia currently focuses on supporting its new GeForce 8 graphics architecture. But if you’ve got a Radeon X1950 XTX, you have no reason to worry – your graphics card will be always giving you the best it can.
The Performance-Mainstream graphics cards don’t cope with this test well. The game does not launch at all on the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB, and the Radeon X1900 XT is the only card among the remaining ones that keeps the frame rate above 25fps. Its performance is barely enough for comfortable play. The GeForce 7950 GT is slower by about 11%. The Radeon X1950 Pro cannot deliver a frame rate of higher than 20fps. The GeForce 7900 GS can’t do that either, though.
In other words, it is evident that using FSAA in Splinter Cell: Double Agent on graphics cards of this class is not a good idea. You won’t be able to get comfortable gaming speed by all means, except if you reduce the level of detail or lower the display resolution to 1024x768. As a result, the best way-out in this case would be to disable FSAA, which will boost the gaming performance significantly.
Everything we’ve said in the previous paragraph refers to the Mainstream class, too. Note that the Radeon X1650 XT enjoys some advantage over the GeForce 7600 GT as its architecture is better suited for today’s applications.