Performance in Gaming Benchmarks: Simulators
This game’s engine is GeForce-oriented, so Nvidia’s graphics cards have always had better results here than same-class solutions on ATI’s GPUs.
Despite FSAA, Nvidia’s cards all reach the performance ceiling in resolutions below 1600x1200. In the highest resolution, however, we can see that no single-processor card can match the GeForce 7950 GX2. The GeForce 7900 GT SLI subsystem, the only multi-GPU solution in this review that is similar to the new card in price, is 10% slower than it.
The overall picture looks like that: all the participating graphics cards, including the Radeon X1900 XTX and GeForce 7900 GTX, deliver a comfortable frame rate in the 4x FSAA + 16x AF mode, although the mentioned two have an alarmingly low minimum speed.
There’s not much difference between Nvidia’s multi-processor solutions in 8x SLI AA mode. For some unclear reason the SLI rig with two GeForce 7900 GT turns in the best min frame rate in two out of the three resolutions.
The Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire is quite fast, too, but it doesn’t support vertex texturing for rendering the water surface with the highest possible quality.
When we switch to the next level of antialiasing (SLI AA 16x and Super AA 14x), the resolution of 1600x1200 becomes unplayable while the gap between Nvidia’s and ATI’s cards becomes smaller. All the multi-GPU systems included in this review allow playing with comfort in 1280x1024, although the water surface as rendered by the Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire is lower quality.
Contrary to Pacific Fighters , X3: Reunion prefers graphics cards on ATI’s Radeon X1000 processors: even the single Radeon X1900 XTX beats the SLI-based subsystems in the two lower resolutions and matches them in 1600x1200!
The GeForce 7950 GX2 is closer in speed to the single GeForce 7900 GTX and is slower than the GeForce 7900 GT SLI in 1024x768 where the graphics memory has the least influence on the overall result. In 1600x1200, however, the GeForce 7900 GT SLI falls behind the GeForce 7950 GX2, perhaps due to its having less graphics memory.
The results suggest that the efficiency of Nvidia SLI technology is near zero in this game, but this doesn’t affect your playing comfort. You can play in 1600x1200 with enabled 4x FSAA and the Universe around your spaceship will be revolving as smoothly as you may wish.