Gaming Benchmarks: Quake3 Arena
Quality settings in Quake3 Arena looked as follows: 32-bit texture color and frame-buffer depths, maximum amount of textures and objects, tri-linear filtering is on, texture compression is off.
Without full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering the graphics cards show relatively close results, because they are limited by the CPU speed and the overall system performance. However in 1600x1200 we can already draw some conclusions: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra is much faster than NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, and ATI RADEON 9800 Pro gets right between them in Quality mode.
When we enable full-screen anti-aliasing, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra appears far ahead of the predecessor due to 256bit memory bus. Moreover, the higher gets the resolution, the bigger grows the gap between them, so that in 1600x1200 NV35 turns twice as fast as NV30. ATI RADEON 9800 Pro and ATI RADEON 9700 Pro get between NVIDIA’s solutions: ATI based graphics cards are faster than GeForce FX 5800 Ultra due to 256bit memory bus, but can’t compete with GeForce FX 5900 Ultra because of higher working frequencies of the latter.
When we enable anisotropic filtering, the memory bus bandwidth become less important, while the anisotropic filtering speed and chip frequency get to the forefront. Nevertheless, lower working frequency didn’t prevent NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra from defeating the predecessor in the same anisotropic filtering optimization modes. Low performance hit in case of enabled anisotropic filtering by ATI chips allowed them to leave behind their rivals - NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra and NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, when they use the Quality mode.
Finally, when both: anisotropic filtering and full-screen anti-aliasing are enabled, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra is stably ahead of GeForce FX 5800 Ultra. ATI RADEON 9800 Pro manages to outperform NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra in Quality mode in 1024x768 and 1280x1024 resolutions due to fast anisotropic filtering algorithms, however in 1600x1200 NVIDIA’s monster takes the lead.