Performance in Strategy Games
Age of Empires 3
Age of Empires 3 belongs to the new generation of games and actively uses SM3.0 effects at the maximum graphics quality settings. No wonder the Radeon X1900 cards feel more comfortable here as they carry as many as 48 pixel processors on board. The importance of these processors in this game is indicated by the low result of the Radeon X1800 XT that has a similar architecture but only 16 pixel processors.
You want an average performance of at least 55-60fps in a real-time strategy, just like in a first-person shooter, and the Sapphire card can give it to you in all the resolutions here. The results of the Radeon X1900 XTX and Radeon X1900 XT are not much lower. The GeForce 7900 GTX card is good in all resolutions, but doesn’t offer as high a speed reserve as the R580-based solution do.
Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War
We see the opposite in Dawn of War . Each character in this game uses a 512x512 texture while the landscape is generated by means of 1024x1024 maps. This means that the graphics card’s fill rate is very important here. Moreover, each war unit consists of about 2 thousand polygons, and there may be as many as 100 such units on the screen, each with a realistic shadow created by means of the stencil shadowing technique. As a matter of fact, Dan of War belongs rather to the previous generation of games as it doesn’t use complex pixel shaders, always keeping within the DirectX 8.0 framework.
With its UltraShadow II technology and 24 TMUs, the GeForce 7900 GTX manages to produce a high frame rate in all the resolutions whereas the Sapphire Toxic X1900 XTX is rather too slow for 1600x1200 (the min speed is below 20fps). The advantages of the Radeon X1900 XT architecture – 48 pixel processors and an accelerated rendering of shadows using the Cascaded Shadow Maps technique – are just not called for here.