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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

The frame rate is fixed at 30fps in this game as this is the rate at which all events are synchronized during networked play. We disabled this limit in the game console for the sake of comparing the cards. The game’s built-in benchmarking options do not provide information about the bottom speed, so there is no such info in the diagrams.

The GeForce GTX 295 is somewhat slower than the GeForce GTX 280 SLI tandem in this test, too. We can explain this by its lower memory bandwidth whereas the game uses large high-resolution textures. Anyway, it is ahead of the Radeon HD 4870 X2. The gap is as large as 22% at 2560x1600.

Nvidia’s cards fail, however, when we try to enable extremely high levels of antialiasing. And they fail in OpenGL games where Nvidia’s solutions have always been strong. At a resolution of 1280x1024 the overall picture is similar to what we have with ordinary 4x MSAA, but ATI’s cards go ahead in the higher display modes. We can’t explain the odd behavior of the GeForce GTX 295 by the lack of graphics memory because its results are almost identical to those of the GeForce GTX 280 SLI tandem. As for image quality, you cannot see any difference at resolutions higher than 1680x1050, so there is in fact no good reason for enabling the extreme antialiasing modes.

Far Cry 2

The GeForce GTX 295 behaves predictably in this test. Its performance is about as high as that of the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 SLI configuration and somewhat lower than that of the GeForce GTX 280 SLI. It enjoys a 12-15% advantage over the Radeon HD 4870 X2.

The frame rates do not drop below playable level when we enable extreme antialiasing modes, but the bottom speeds are affected. The resolution of 2560x1600 becomes unplayable.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 295


MSAA 4x


CSAA 16xQ

ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2


MSAA 4x


CFAA 8x + Edge-detect

As is the case with Call of Duty: World at War, the screenshots do not show any significant image quality improvements. There is a difference but you have to search for it with special tools like The Compressonator. It cannot be spotted in a dynamic game. This is another argument to support the point that the extreme antialiasing modes the GPU developers put so much emphasis on are more of a marketing trick rather than a real means of improving image quality in practical applications.

 
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