High End Tests: Tourney

In this section, we will be taking a look at Ultra Quality performance, as well as various high resolutions and antialiasing settings. These are the only cards that can handle 1600x1200 or antialiasing. Though jaggies aren't a big problem (the artists designed the game very well with many low contrast edges), eliminating these minor annoyances is a luxury afforded to those with these latest generation power houses.

To clarify an issue we've noticed across the board, Ultra Quality runs perfectly fine on current generation high end hardware. Yes, the game recommends >500 MB of nice fast graphics RAM, as do we if one's intention is to play through the single player game. But, it is very important to note that all the multiplayer maps we've played on in the past few hours have been small enough to avoid the massive swapping that occurs when moving between parts of the world on the single player map.

This really means two things to us. When 512MB cards come around, we won't need any heavier artillery on the GPU side to tackle rendering the game. It also means that Deathmatch players can easily benefit from the Ultra Quality setting immediately.

Not all tests are without problems, and this time we experienced some issues with our 6800 Ultra Extreme part. We noticed visual artifacts as we were running our AA tests. These kept getting worse as time went on, and not even letting the card cool down would help fix the problem. Eventually, our system rebooted while we were testing and wouldn't get through another benchmark run. John Carmack has spoken of possible issues when overclocking a graphics card with Doom 3, and this may or may not have an impact on factory overclocked parts. We will absolutely keep our ears open and our test beds working to try to determine if this is just an isolated random GPU death, or if there is some other evil at work.

Another intersting observation we've made is that if your 6800 Ultra Extreme can handle the game, Ultra Quality at 1600x1200 with 4xAA is a playable reality. But enough talk; feast on the numbers.

The Test Midrange Tests: Team DM
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  • kmmatney - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    The Sunday BestBuy advetisement has Celeron desktops with integrated graphics advertised, with Doom3 shown in the monitor window. What a crock! Reply
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    You might try running a 9700pro with 9500pro's gpu clock and 1/2 of its mem clock to try and simulate a 9500pro.

    Would be pretty interesting to compare against if you finally manage to get a real 9500pro. :)

    Btw, what about more exotic grapgics chipsets? ;)
    Reply
  • bastula - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    Do you happen to have a GeForce 4 MX (64 MB) to try? Since they said it should be playable with that card, I was curious to know how that would compare to the cards you have listed (more specifically, the Radeon 9200 and FX 5700).

    Thanks!

    Good comparison though, appreciate the hard work and loss of sleep. You should get some rest. :)
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    the gf4 line is actually a fairly widely adopted platform, and the minimum requirements for Doom3 are gf4 mx or better (iirc) ... the tnt2 wouldn't run doom3.

    I thought about trying the intel integrated out, but then decided that I was sane and could not do such a thing.
    Reply
  • mena805 - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    They also forgot the 5900XT for some reason. This is a MUCH better performing card than the crappy 5700 and 5500's. Reply
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    why did you pick the 4400 as the low end nvidia? why not run a more mainstreme card like TNT2s or Intel? Or Rage 128? thats what most customers have, right? Maybe some GF2 MX. The funny thing is that new computers at best buy come with this sort of shit up until recently. Although intel seems to be managing this still.

    Where did they marketing for the intel graphics come from? Extremely what? shitty? slow? worthless?

    Maybe they should have called it intel:
    abysmal
    usable
    painful
    weak
    worth-less-than-the-sylicon-its-printed-on
    ... grpahics.
    Reply
  • Genx87 - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    Buy Doom3 and burnout your 400 dollar video card :) Reply
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    Sorry guys, I don't have a 9500 or an 8500 around the lab ... You're right about the 9500 though; the lack of sleep is catching up with me ... goodnight. Reply
  • punko - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    I was hoping for a commend about my old ATI 8500.
    Reply
  • bearxor - Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - link

    If I'm not mistaken, the 9550 is not the same as a 9500 Pro. I think that you're right that it is a underclocked 9600, which would mean only 4 pipes. The 9500 Pro is exactly like the 9700 Pro except with only a 128-bit memory bus.

    I have a 9500 Pro, and am extremely intrested in seeing how the 8 pipes of the 9500 Pro match up to the 4 Pipe + Higher clock speed of the 9600 series.

    I have no real intrest in Doom 3, so I've been looking for those benchmarks, but every frame rate report I've read so far just skips from the 9200 to the 9600, ignoring the 9500, even though its a very different GPU from the 9600.

    In other words, no a 9550 wouldn't help.
    Reply

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