Neverwinter Nights 2
Starting with version 1.04 this game allows using FSAA, so we tested it in the eye candy mode. Neverwinter Nights 2 declares support for HDR, yet this mode is not fully implemented by the developer and is not operational in the current version of the game. Perhaps this situation will change with more patches.
The increased frequency of the main domain helps the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX XXX Edition remain ahead of the other three versions of GeForce 8800 GTX. The gap amounts to 14-16% at 1600x1200 and 1920x1200, but diminishes to 8% at 2560x1600. Neverwinter Nights 2 is playable at speeds higher than 15fps, so we won’t recommend using the highest display resolution. Even if your monitor supports it, you’d better limit yourself to 1920x1200. Otherwise the gameplay may not be quite as comfortable as you wish even on an overclocked GeForce 8800 GTX.
The GeForce 8800 GTS and GeForce 7950 GX2 look good among the slower solutions. These two allow playing the game normally at a resolution of 1600x1200 pixels.
Note that although the GeForce 7950 GX2 (and the GeForce 7950 Quad SLI system based on two such cards) was once positioned by Nvidia as a premium-class solution for playing at extremely high resolutions, it now suffers a terrible performance hit on switching from 1920x1200 to 2560x1600 pixels. We can’t explain this behavior because the amount of memory can’t be the cause – the Radeon X1950 XTX loses much less speed on making the same transition. Perhaps this is a problem of SLI technology the dual-chip graphics card is based upon.
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Adding the “-ll” command into the game launch icon, we successfully started it up on our GeForce 8800 cards. With this command and ForceWare 97.92 the game could start up, but did not allow to use FSAA and HDR simultaneously. So, we enabled the latter option for our tests as it has a bigger effect on the image quality.
Surprisingly, the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX XXX Edition fell behind its three opponents that are clocked at the reference frequencies. Fortunately, the difference is not big, at only 5%. Each card coped with this game successfully, providing acceptable performance at 1600x1200, but the Radeon X1950 XTX with much more modest technical characteristics is a mere 10% behind them in that resolution. You shouldn’t replace your X1950 XTX with a GeForce 8800 GTX to play Splinter Cell series games just because this wouldn’t give you a critical improvement of performance.
The GeForce 7950 GX2 cannot boast high results even at a resolution of 1280x1024 pixels. The lack of a SLI profile for Splinter Cell: Double Agent in the ForceWare driver results in the card’s using only one GPU of the two. Anyway, the GeForce 7 is an outdated solution. Hopefully, this problem won’t affect Nvidia’s upcoming dual-chip cards.