Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

Wolfenstein acts as the cornerstone of our OpenGL benchmarks. The program uses very simple GL calls, and runs on virtually any configuration that we could find. There is an unusual bug in Wolfenstein when used in conjunction with FrameGetter; occasionally after running the modified executable, the original executable uses the libFG libraries anyway.

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory No AA

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory 4xAA

Let's take a specific look at the performance between our Radeon X800 Pro and the GeForce 6800 (Non-Ultra). You can download the CVS file of the graph below here.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory ATI vs NVIDIA No AA

We expect relatively older games like Wolfenstein to be fairly CPU bound. A two and a half minute cross-section of the radar timedemo reveals very little difference in performance between the two cards - but keep in mind that for this timedemo, we captured our FPS on two second intervals. Unreal Tournament on the previous page was taken at half second intervals. There are still some interesting phenomena, however. At the 109th second of the timedemo, notice how the Radeon X800 ramps very slowly before peaking at the 115th second. The NVIDIA card peaks almost immediately at the 111th second, stays level and then peaks again at the 115th second. Here is a screenshot of that particular scene.




Click to enlarge.


Our player has just walked out of a hut and onto the field. The global scene that seems to have punished our graphic cards (~43rd second) the most can be seen below.




Click to enlarge.


Unreal Tournament 2004 32-bit Medal of Honor Allied Assault
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  • - Saturday, October 24, 2009 - link

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  • TheWounded - Monday, November 01, 2004 - link

    Its a nice test but i would have loved to see how the XGI volari cards would have done.
    I'm interested if the volari's could be a good choice for linux gamers. But unfortunatly there are no linux benchmarks involving the volaris.
    Reply
  • henca - Thursday, October 07, 2004 - link

    This was a very nice comparision of mid- and high-end cards. It would be interesting to also see a comparision with low-end cards like Matrox G550, Intel Extreme graphics and the Radeon 9200 family.

    The good news about these cards is that they are all supported by the opensource DRI drivers. An up-to-date Linux distribution should support them out of the box without having to download and install any binary drivers.
    Reply
  • MNKyDeth - Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - link

    I am a Linux gamer only so a benchmark comparison like this is great. I really enjoyed reading it. But, imo, there was a lack of games included in the benchmark roundup. I would like to see Savage, NWN, and either quake3 or Heretic 2 shown aswell.

    I also do not like the showing of wineX (Cedega) benchmarks as it defeats the purpose the gaming on linux. The only way I could recomend anyone to use wineX (Cedega) is if they don't own a copy of windows. If you do own a copy of windows do not use wineX for pete's sake, just dual boot, it is the better emulator after all.
    Reply
  • jerrysiebe - Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - link

    For anisotropic filtering, I did a strings search in libGL and came up with something.

    >strings /usr/lib/libGL.so | grep ANISO
    __GL_LOG_MAX_ANISO

    Setting that, I can see a visible difference and get a FPS hit, so I believe it works. On my GF4 4200, I can set __GL_LOG_MAX_ANISO to 1, 2, and 4 and see the difference. Set to anything else I get no anisotropic filtering.
    Reply
  • Thetargos - Monday, October 04, 2004 - link

    Excellent article, just a comment on the NVIDIA uninstaller... it plainly doesn't work as it should. The prlblem is that it substitutes (like the ATi driver) some libraries in the system, but unlike ATi's driver, NVIDIA's driver also makes a change in one library used for the Direct Redering Infrastructure, libdri.a specifically. So uninstalling the drivers with NVIDIA's uninstaller this won't be reverted (re-install of the XFree86 package or Xorg package is required, note only the core package is need).
    In favor of ATi's driver, the uninstallation is much easier and the system is restored to its previous stage, restoring the backup copy of libGL.so.1.2 that is the only system library it overwrites.
    Reply
  • plamalice - Monday, October 04, 2004 - link

    The Nvidia AGPgart driver is causing problems with ATI cards (perhaps other non-nVidia card as well) on both Win and Linux when used on an nForce based mobo (of course). Nforce3 (150, pro150) have both caused me problems when using an ATI card until the gart driver was uninstalled.

    A poor attempt by nVidia to make ATI card appear unstable ? :P

    Anyways, if you have an nForce-based motherboard and an ATI gfx card, do not use nvidia's gart driver.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, October 04, 2004 - link

    directedition: i just symlink /mnt/cdrom to /media/dvdrecorder

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • mczak - Monday, October 04, 2004 - link

    "Keep in mind that we even run SuSE, a RPM derivative - not too different from Red Hat."
    That really doesn't make sense. RPM is just the package manager! If a dos version which uses rpm would exist, would you say that it is "not too different" too?

    "Below, you can see a screen grab from our ATI frame buffer playing Unreal Tournament at 800x600. The image should not be surrounded by a black border, but rather, stretched to the limits of the screen."
    This looks to me like you did not have configured 800x600 resolution in the Xfree config file (Sax2 will happily do that) - you cannot switch to fullscreen resolutions not configured usually with XFree/Xorg (though maybe the nvidia driver doesn't care).

    btw about aniso not working: I guess you could do that quite easily with framegetter? Just intercept the filter setting calls and replace them?
    Reply
  • mczak - Monday, October 04, 2004 - link

    "On our MSI nForce3 board, this should have been the nvidia_agp module. However, try as we could, we could not get nvidia_agp and fglrx to play well with each other."
    This is a mistake, you do not need (and it will not work) the nvidia-agp module. For all A64 based boards, no matter if the chipset is from sis, via, nvidia or someone else, you need the amd64-agp module instead. It might have just worked with that - suse 9.1 loads it automatically for K8T800 chipset, but I think for some reason it doesn't get automatically loaded for nforce3 chipsets. It might have just worked loading it manually, saving you some time :-).

    "We are not entirely sure why, but even after completely removing the NVIDIA kernel module, we still had persistent errors installing the ATI drivers correctly."
    Removing the kernel module will do nothing. Nvidia drivers replace some of XFree/Xorg libraries, which are incompatible (I think libglx.a is affected by that, but there might be more), and ATI does not have its own version of these files. Uninstalling the nvidia driver with its own installer (which has an uninstall option) should get the original version back in place afaik.
    Reply

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