Performance Mainstream Graphics Cards
All the graphics cards demonstrate sufficient performance results in this game, except of the RADEON X1600 XT 256MB that allows to play without lags only in 1024x768, as minimal framerate by this board is below comfortable level. We would recommend its owners to use Shader Model 2.0 code-path to improve performance.
While comparable GeForce 6800 and RADEON X800 offer approximately the same performance, the former produce better image quality due to higher amount of effects.
Unpredictably, the RADEON X1600 XT 256MB managed to leave behind such strong competitors as the GeForce 6800 GT and GS, being able to provide quite nice results even in 1280x1024. Still, only the RADEON X800 XL actually delivers really satisfactory framerate in this case.
Unfortunately, unless you pull back to shaders 2.0, you won’t be able to enjoy Age of Empires 3 with AF and FSAA activated on a mid-range graphics board. In case you can keep up with the lack of some effects, then you should keep your eye on the performance of the RADEON X800 XL, a year-old product that still provides excellent speed.