I benchmarked the graphics cards in Metro 2033 at the beginning of the Chaser level using the scripted scene where the protagonist with two friends is driving in a trolley and cannot move about. Thus, the results of the test are highly repeatable. The frame rate is measured with FRAPS for 160 seconds after the loading of the map. First, I used the DirectX 10 renderer:
The GeForce GTX 480 is somewhat faster than the Radeon HD 5870, both cards being considerably slower than the dual-processor Radeon HD 5970. While CrossFireX did not work in Wings of Prey, Metro 2033 proved to be poorly optimized for SLI technology. In the next game, Just Cause 2, SLI did not work altogether.
I also benchmarked the GeForce GTX 480 in DirectX 11 mode in comparison with an ATI Radeon HD 5850 1 GB overclocked from its default 725/4000 MHz to 950/4800 MHz (I performed this test after the main test program and had already returned the other Radeons). It was the same Chaser scene at the highest graphics quality settings. Here are the results:
The overclocked Radeon HD 5850 is not far behind the GeForce GTX 480 at 1920x1080 but begins to display a slideshow at 2560x1600 whereas the GeForce GTX 480 is three times as fast as its opponent then. However, the new card is still unable to deliver a playable frame rate at the highest resolution. Moreover, I noticed the image to get somewhat blurry on the GeForce when running the test demo and checked this out with screenshots (on another level as I could not make identical screenshots on the Chaser map). You can see the difference yourself (the screenshots were captured at 1920x1080).
ATI Radeon HD 5850
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
It is easy to see that the Radeon produces a better-looking picture. All the textures are sharp, without fuzziness or anything. To remind you, I selected the same graphics quality settings for both graphics cards: DirectX 11, Very High, 16x AF, AAA, Advanced DOF and Tessellation. Besides, I selected the High Quality texture filtering mode in the Catalyst and GeForce/ION driver (the Quality mode is selected by default). Perhaps this reduction of quality is the trick the GeForce GTX 480 resorts to in order to deliver a higher speed in Metro 2033? The game developer answered to our question promptly. Here is what Oles Shishkovtsov, 4A Games Chief Technical Officer said:
No, the observed difference in quality is not due to the performance of the graphics cards. Indeed, graphics cards from Nvidia and ATI render the scene differently in some antialiasing modes. We are trying to find a way to correct this issue. Again, this has nothing to do with speed.
Hopefully, people from 4A Games will find a solution.
Just Cause 2
The GeForce GTX 480 is inferior to the Radeon HD 5870 in this recently released game.