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Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour

Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour is a 3D real-time strategy (RTS) with excellent graphics for the games of this kind. The gaming graphics engine uses DirectX8 vertex and pixel shaders, though we didn’t see any specific effects resulting from this shader support. At the same time the game loads the graphics cards pretty heavily: there are a lot of building models, soldiers and military vehicles in the scene, there are shadows falling from the clouds and all other objects that can cast shadows, which crawl over the ground, the ground bears the marks left by vehicle wheels and explosions, etc. we ran the tests with maximum graphics quality settings. Besides that, we also tested the cards with forced full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.

In 1024x768 and 1280x960 the graphics cards performance appeared very limited by the processor speed, but in 1600x1200 this influence didn’t work any more.

Nevertheless, the fastest graphics cards based on RADEON 9800 PRO and RADEON 9800 XT performed almost equally fast.

The cards on RADEON 9800 SE as usual occupied the very last positions when tested at their nominal frequencies. But they managed to double the performance after modifications and overclocking. RADEON 9800 SE with 128bit memory bus gets to the level of NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900/5900 XT, and its analogue with 256bit memory bus almost catches up with NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and gets really close to RADEON 9800 PRO.

RADEON 9600 XT outperforms RADEON 9800 SE at nominal frequencies, but after the modification, even the slow 128bit model appears unattainably far ahead.

NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 is a little behind GeForce FX 5950 Ultra, but successful overclocking makes up for the gap.

GeForce FX 5900 XT based graphics card working at nominal frequencies is just a little ahead of GeForce FX 5900 and outpaces it when working at overclocked frequencies getting closer to GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and overclocked GeForce FX 5900.

The card based on NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra managed to defeat only the non-overclocked RADEON 9800 SE. Also it proved faster than RADEON 9600 XT, but only when overclocked.

With enabled full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering the situation in low resolutions changed in NVIDIA’s favor. However, in general things remained just about the same: RADEON 9800 PRO, RADEON 9800 XT, NVIDIA GeForce FX 95950 Ultra and overclocked GeForce FX 5900 and 5900 XT lead the race.

 
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