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Performance: IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles

IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles is a continuation of the famous Russian flight simulator game called IL-2 Sturmovik, which received a lot of Russian and international awards of the gaming sites and magazines. The excellent graphics quality of the new IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles game is provided by a very modern graphics engine which supports adaptive changing of the level of detail for the military equipment and landscapes. Water surfaces in this game look highly realistic due to DirectX 8.0 pixel shaders and the landscapes with picturesque woods look absolutely live due to very unusual drawing techniques applied (we will talk about these techniques later in this article). And look at the sky and clouds, very beautiful!

IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles is provided with integrated modules measuring the system performance and a set of preliminarily created test scenes that is why we had no problems testing our graphics cards in this application.

For our tests we used TheBlackDeath.ntrk demo:

When you start the test you should press [Shift]+[Tab] in the very beginning to call a console. The scene will automatically be paused. In the console you should type in fps START SHOW which will call a fps counter in the upper part of the display. If you close the console by pressing [Shift]+[Tab] again, the scene will resume with the fps counter running in the upper part of the screen. In the end of the scene you can stop the test by pressing P and take down the number.

During the tests I used full-screen OpenGL modes by enabling the “Maximum settings” item in the stencil-buffer tab. The image quality in the game settings menu was set to “Ideal”.

The game sets very serious requirements to the graphics cards performance as well as to the performance of the entire system. You can see this from the results obtained in 1024x768: here ATI RADEON 9800 falls just a little bit behind the considerably faster RADEON 9800 Pro, just like NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 falls a little behind GeForce FX 5900 Ultra. It means that in 1024x768 resolution the results shown by our testing participants are limited not by the fillrate or the graphics memory bandwidth, but by some other factors, which do not depend on the resolution. They are: polygon processing speed, data transfer rate via the AGP bus, or finally the optimization of the OpenGL part of the driver. Anyway, in 1024x768 and 1280x1024 the graphics cards based on NVIDIA chips outperform thei rivals on ATI solutions.

As the resolution grows, the graphics cards get more loaded with work and this is where GeForce FX 5900 and RADEON 9800 start falling behind their faster fellows. I would like to draw your attention to remarkably equal results of the competitors in 1600x1200.

 
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