Battlefield 2 game was written with Shader Model 2.0 hardware in mind, it features per-pixel lighting, normal mapping, bloom, a plethora of post-processing effects and also offering very realistic physical model. However, the most important thing in this case is the extreme scalability of the scenes, which has definitely affected the requirements to the graphics memory subsystem taking into account the high image quality we are aiming at.
High-End Graphics Cards
The minimal playable framerate for first-person shooter games is about 60 frames per second and, as you see, the high-end graphics cards can deliver really comfortable speed across all resolutions. While the RADEON X1800 XT 512MB used to be the king of the hill here, currently it is substantially outperformed by the GeForce 7800 GTX 512. Both cards face microprocessor bottleneck in 1024x768 resolution.
With the eye candy activated, all the graphics cards continue to perform fine in all resolutions. The exceptions are the RADEON X850 XT PE and the GeForce 7800 GT, which cannot achieve average 60fps with anisotropic filtering and full-scene antialiasing in 1600x1200 resolution.
The GeForce 7800 GTX 512 is still the fastest: the margin between it and the RADEON X1800 XT is noticeable. Nevertheless, in 1600x1200 the boards demonstrate nearly equal results. So, while generally among the top-of-the-range boards NVIDIA’s flagship product is the highest performer in Battlefield 2, speed provided by the RADEON X1800 XT 512MB is definitely not significantly lower.