The Pier level is large and abounds in pixel shaders the water is created with. It traditionally favors graphics cards from ATI Technologies, and the RADEON X1800 XT 512MB looks preferable to the GeForce 7800 GTX here. The new graphics card from NVIDIA is about 35% faster than the older version, which is enough to score even with the RADEON in 1600x1200 resolution of the “eye candy” mode (in lower resolutions and in the “pure speed” mode the graphics cards do not differ, all having a frame rate of 85-90fps).
The Research demo is less CPU-dependent and uses version 3.0 pixel shaders, which makes it a more useful test. Thanks to its universal architecture that can execute effectively pixel shaders of any degree of complexity, the GeForce 7800 GTX outperforms the RADEON X1800 XT 512MB in the “pure speed” mode, but not at the “eye candy” settings (NVIDIA’s card is worse than ATI’s in memory bandwidth and the efficiency of the memory controller). The GeForce 7800 GTX 512, on the contrary, has a 6.4GB/s faster memory subsystem and outperforms the RADEON X1800 XT 512MB by 20%. So, NVIDIA wins the Far Cry test, too.