UPDATE: After hearing feedback on the article, we went back and ran tests on the GeForce 6800 GT and the Radeon X800 XL in order to fill in an upper midrange price gap. Note that there are no tests for the X800 XL at 2048x1536 due to difficulties getting the card to run properly at this resolution (it would only render the upper left 1600x1200 of the screen). Though we have alluded to it before, we would like to note that while we have had zero issues running NVIDIA cards at very high resolutions, it has been a constant struggle to get ATI cards to properly render resolutions above 1600x1200 on analog monitors.

As far as performance of this update goes, the X800 XL slightly trails the 6800 GT without AA enabled, but performs much better after all the options are turned up.

Introduction

The Battlefield series has thus far been a resounding success in terms of popularity. Among the very first of the seemingly endless stream of WWII based war games, Battlefield 1942 broke highly sought-after ground. Digital Illusions CE (DICE) has done it again with the beautifully crafted Battlefield 2.

This modern era combat game pits US troops against imagined Chinese and middle eastern forces. With 16-, 32-, and 64-player maps, gamers are able to immerse themselves in anything from a small scale game to a war full of total carnage. The goal is to seize and defend multiple control points from the enemy, and while this concept may seem simple enough, the game play that ensues is fast-paced and intense.



The ability to command an entire battle and tightly organize small squads of players adds a healthy heaping of tactics and strategy to battles. Players can still go at it alone in sniper or special ops roles, but in all cases, clear graphics are an important advantage. Even at lower resolutions, the game is gorgeous, but in order to take full advantage of the terrain, stay on top of advancing forces, or snipe from extreme distances, graphics detail and resolution must be set as high as possible.

DICE has, again, developed their own engine in order to take complete advantage of modern hardware in the way that they see fit. The beauty of the combat in this game is nothing short of amazing, and players will want to turn on all the bells and whistles. What kind of hardware will it take to run this game at huge resolutions and blazing frame rates? That's what we're here to find out.

This test of multiple graphics cards in a demo recorded and played back using the built-in demo recording and playback functionality to determine performance characteristics over resolutions from 800x600 all the way to 2048x1536 with and without 4xAA/AF. In order to make sure that each card was tested correctly, we deleted the shader cache after installing each card. One of the major selling points of today's budget cards is their ability to run modern games at modest resolutions without sacrificing effects and features. For this reason, all cards were tested with quality settings on high (except AA and texture filtering where indicated). High Texture Filtering settings result in 4xAF and Medium gives 2xAF, and we did not use control panel set AA/AF levels as both ATI and NVIDIA recommend using in game settings. We used an FX-55 based system with 1GB of 2:2:2:8 RAM for our tests with the latest public WHQL drivers (Catalyst 5.6 and ForceWare 77.72).

Budget Performance Tests
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  • sethborg - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    What monitors support these high resolutions, the article doesn't say which one they used! Reply
  • TokyoBrit - Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - link

    I wouldn't of minded seeing the 6600GT, 6800GT and 6800U in SLI configuration in the article, as those are a more likely configuration than the 7800GTX SLI that did get included.

    Anyone care to comment on the expected performance improvements of 6600GT SLI compared to a single 6800GT, 6800GT SLI compared to a single 6800U, and 6800U SLI compared to a single 7800GTX?
    Reply
  • CrystalBay - Sunday, July 31, 2005 - link

    Thanks Derek, ! Reply
  • ShadowVlican - Sunday, July 17, 2005 - link

    much better with the update, thanks derek Reply
  • JNo - Monday, July 11, 2005 - link

    Guys, I think most of you are missing the point - this is not meant to be a *comprehensive* test of BF2 (with CPU, *all* midrange cards and picture detail analysis etc) but a general look at how a game that will become part of anandtech's new benchmark suite, performs in general across a range of cards. It does this very well and gave me an impression of how a variety of core cards scale with the game.

    Again, the article is called "BF2 **GPU** Performance Analysis" so stop whinging about lack of CPU scaling tests and not knowing how the game performs on true midrange systems - that is not the point of the article!! Read a general BF2 performance article elsewhere for that...
    Reply
  • Powermoloch - Sunday, July 10, 2005 - link

    Replying #61

    Just recently I had received my X850XT for about $ 350. I'm still amazed about the benchamrks and hopefully will getting this copy of the game. It's performance is dazzling.

    Reply
  • Powersupply - Sunday, July 10, 2005 - link

    Almost forgot...I whonder how much DICE/EA payed Anandtech for this one... Reply
  • Powersupply - Sunday, July 10, 2005 - link

    I rarely write any comments but i feel obliged to do so this time around because this article stinks. Quoting what #45 said:

    " The more I think about what information this article *should have* presented, I come to realize that it is just fluff. The basic conclusion is that higher-priced cards get better FPS. No duh?"

    That's the simple and ugly truth.

    Sadly I feel that an increasing percentage of articles are just fluff here on Anandtech.
    Reply
  • beorntheold - Sunday, July 10, 2005 - link

    the last game i played from EA was NFSU2. just as in NFSU the time was not constant... in a racing game. think about it.

    BF2? well, the demo won't start in fullscreen mode no matter what i do (and i did spend a while working on the problem). oh, and that patch fiasco... 8|

    makes you wonder--how do Blizzard do it? :)
    Reply
  • yanman - Sunday, July 10, 2005 - link

    BF2 that is Reply

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