Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Max Payne 2 uses DirectX8.1 pixel shaders version 1.1 and 1.45 (DirectX9 compatible cards of course, support pixel shaders 1.4) and vertex shaders version 1.1. We ran the tests in this game in two modes: with maximum gaming graphics quality settings but without anisotropic filtering and full-screen anti-aliasing, and with these functions forced in the drivers.
The results demonstrated by our testing participants in Max Payne appeared limited by the processor and overall system performance. Only in 1600x1200 this limiting influence gets so insignificant that we get the opportunity to estimate the graphics cards performance in this game.
ATI RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9800 PRO showed almost identical results: their performance appeared limited by the CPU and the overall system performance.
The modified RADEON 9800 SE based graphics cards managed to catch up with NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and overclocked GeForce FX 5900/5900 XT, while the same cards working at the nominal frequencies didn’t beat even RADEON 9600 XT and GeForce FX 5700 Ultra.
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 and GeForce FX 5900 XT showed almost the same results with and without overclocking, which is another point in favor of a low-cost GeForce FX 5900 XT as an “Overclocker’s choice”.
With enabled full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering 128MB graphics cards on NVIDIA chips lacked graphics memory to be able to work in 1600x1200 resolution that is why you see the results only for 1024x768 and 1280x1024 modes.
The results show very clearly that forced FSAA requires much higher data transfer rate along the graphics memory bus and RADEON 9800 SE with its 128bit memory access falls considerably behind its counterpart with 256bit bus even though the 128bit version boasts higher working frequencies than the 256bit one.
You should also take a closer look at the results obtained by NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra in 1280x1024 resolution: this graphics card appeared far ahead all other testing participants on NVIDIA chips here. It most probably owes this victory to the 256MB of onboard graphics memory, while all other NVIDIA based graphics cards had to transfer the textures via a relatively slow AGP bus.