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Colin McRae Rally 04 attracted our attention because we used to have only one single race simulator in our list of benchmarks. Moreover, the game we have been using didn’t boast any impressive graphics and couldn’t be regarded as a really functional benchmarking application.

This appeared to be a worthy addition to our list: the car models are built of a great number of polygons, and hence look very realistic. The water fountains and dust clouds coming from under the wheels, highlights on the wet road and more - this is what you can load the contemporary graphics accelerator with. The gaming process is also arranged on a very high level, that is why if you are fond of auto-racing, you will love this game, for sure.

Testbed and Methods

  • First-Person 3D Shooters:
    • RTCW: Enemy Territory;
    • Call of Duty;
    • Unreal Tournament 2003;
    • Unreal Tournament 2004 Demo;
    • Halo: Combat Evolved;
    • Tron 2.0;
    • Highly Anticipated DX9 Game 1;
    • Highly Anticipated DX9 Game 2;
    • FarCry;
    • Firestarter;
    • Painkiller.
  • Third-Person 3D Shooters:
    • Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow;
    • Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness;
    • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time;
    • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne;
    • Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic.
  • Simulators:
    • IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles;
    • Lock On;
    • X2: The Threat;
    • F1 Challenge 99-2002;
    • Colin McRae Rally 04.
  • Real-Time Strategies:
    • C&C Generals: Zero Hour.
  • Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks:
    • Final Fantasy XI Official Benchmark 2;
    • Aquamark3.
  • Synthetic benchmarks
    • Futuremark 3DMark03 build 340.

All in all, there are 22 games, 2 semi-synthetic benchmarks and 1 synthetic benchmark. It is more than enough to be able to evaluate the performance of the new RADEON X800 XT and RADEON X800 PRO against their major competitor – NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra. As for the testsystem configuration, it looked as follows:

  • Athlon 64 3400+ CPU (2.20GHz, 1MB L1 cache);
  • ASUS K8V Deluxe mainboard;
  • OCZ PC-3200 Platinum EB DDR SDRAM (2x512MB, CL2.5-3-2-8);
  • Seagate 7200.7 HDD (SerialATA-150, 8MB buffer);
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 audio card;
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP1, DirectX 9.0b;
  • Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 60.72, ATI CATALYST BETA 6.14.10.6444.
 
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