3D Games 2003
The list of games used for benchmarking has become completely new by now and looks as follows:
First-person 3D shooters:
- RTCW: Enemy Territory;
- StarTrek Elite Force 2;
- Serious Sam: The Second Encounter;
- Unreal Tournament 2003;
- Halo: Combat Evolved;
- Highly-Anticipated DirectX 9 Game;
- Tron 2.0.
Third-person 3D shooters:
So, altogether there are 12 modern games and 3 semi-synthetic benchmarks, which can also be regarded as gaming tests, because they are built on real gaming engines. In particular, X2 – The Threat Rolling Demo demonstrates all the beauty of the upcoming space simulator, which is to come instead of the X-Beyond The Frontier. And the Final Fantasy XI Official Benchmark 2 presents us the way the world will look in one of the most highly anticipated games from Square Enix. As you see, we are going to have a purely gaming test session this time. So, those of you who are considering a purchase of a gaming graphics card, might find this article pretty helpful. We also included the performance of our testing participants ion 3DMark03 test package, because it is considered a nearly industrial standard and many PC makers use the results of this test to chose a graphics card model for their systems.
Of course, we tried to make the benchmark results independent of the CPU performance that is why our test system was configured as follows:
- CPU: AMD Athlon XP 3200+ (2.20GHz, 400MHz FSB, 512KB of L2);
- Mainboard: ABIT NF7-S v2.0;
- RAM: Corsair XMS PC3200 512MB (2x256MB, 2-3-3-6);
- HDD: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X (2MB buffer);
- Audio: NVIDIA MCP-T;
- Software: Microsoft Windows XP SP1, DirectX 9.0b;
- Drivers: nForce Unified Driver Pack 3.13, ATI CATALYST 3.9, NVIDIA ForceWare 52.16.
The major modes used for testing were still the so called “Pure Mode” and “Eye Candy”. The first one is intended to reveal the maximum performance of the tested graphics accelerators, while the second one shows what they are capable of if we involve full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, which actually significantly improve the image quality and make it very pleasing for the eye. FSAA 4x mode is a high-quality mode but at the same time it is not so heavy for the contemporary graphics adapters. And the 8x anisotropic filtering mode is the maximum NVIDIA’s GPUs can support. The graphics cards based on ATI technologies VPUs can support up to 16x anisotropic filtering, however the image quality in this case hardly becomes any different, at least you cannot notice it with a naked eye. However, I believe it is high time we figured out which one deserves being called “The Best Graphics Accelerator of the Year 2003”?