The Chronicles of Riddick
Computer games based on movies are not generally very successful, but The Chronicles of Riddick suddenly break this rule. The game was originally released for Microsoft’s Xbox, but the PC version came out free from the traditional drawbacks of console projects. The Chronicles of Riddick has high-detail textures, and its lighting and geometry are top-notch, just like the whole aura of the game.
Outwardly similar to Doom 3, this game runs on its own Starbreeze Engine and uses OpenGL. Graphics cards with NVIDIA’s GeForce6 (NV4x) processors can enable soft stencil shadows, but this beauty comes at a significant performance hit, so we gave this mode up for benchmarking purposes.
The game can make good use of the peculiarities of NVIDIA’s graphics architecture with respect to rendering shadows, so the GeForce 6x00 card have higher speeds here than their counterparts from the ATI camp. The gap is dwindling in higher resolutions, but not to vanish completely. Note also that NVIDIA’s SLI technology works smoothly with The Chronicles and allow the two GeForce 6600 GT cards to deliver the performance of a single GeForce 6800 GT.
The GeForce 6800 GT is clearly superior even in the “eye candy” mode – it is 20% ahead of the RADEON X800 XT in 1600x1200! The RADEON X800 XL is 5% further behind the X800 XT. The SLI configuration of two GeForce 6600 cards doesn’t look so advantageous as in the “pure speed” mode, evidently feeling the lack of the graphics memory.