We're going to dispense with a lot of the introductory commentary for all of our gaming benchmarks, as we already have a ton of material to present. At this point, most of you are already familiar with what benchmarks we use and how they are run. If not, you should easily be able to find the information in a previous article. So, rather than adding hundreds of words of repeat text, we're just going to cut straight to the chase and talk about performance.

Company of Heroes Performance

Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes - Power Consumption

Company of Heroes - Performance per Watt

Starting with Company of Heroes, we have a game that really stresses the graphics card at higher settings, though in the past we've also shown that it tends to be CPU limited with different detail settings. Running maximum details, all of the cards still managed to deliver acceptable gameplay at 1600x1200 or lower resolutions. 1920x1440 is still playable as well, but if you have a 30 inch LCD running 2560x1600 and you want to run with antialiasing, you're really going to need a GeForce 8800 series card. The GeForce 8800 is clearly more powerful than anything ATI currently offers, which is to be expected as it's a next-generation card competing with current generation hardware. What's impressive is that the 8800 GTX is basically as fast running 2560x1600 as the GeForce 7900 GTX or Radeon X1950 XTX running at 1600x1200. Put another way, a single 8800 GTX is over twice as fast as a single X1950 XTX in all of the tested resolutions, and it's also about twice as fast as a 7900 GTX.

As far as multiple graphics card configurations go, Company of Heroes currently did not show any performance improvements. Most likely that means that NVIDIA and ATI drivers have not been properly optimized for this game at present. This is a problem that occurs periodically with new titles, and it's always frustrating to get a new game only to find out that it isn't properly using your hardware -- especially if you've shelled out the money for dual graphics cards. This is why we have repeatedly recommended in the past that you purchase a faster single graphics card rather than moving to dual GPUs, up to the point where you basically have the fastest single graphics card available. GeForce 8800 GTX now holds the title of fastest single GPU, so if you were previously looking to spend $800 on a couple of GPUs, you should seriously consider a single 8800 GTX instead. The DirectX 10 support is merely icing on the cake.

The Test F.E.A.R. Performance
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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    They did the same thing with the original Halo, porting it (and slowing it down) to DX9. MS seems to think making Halo 2 Vista-only will get people to upgrade to the new OS. [:rolls eyes:] Reply
  • stmok - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    How else are they gonna get gamers to upgrade to Vista? :)
    (by cornering them into adopting Vista, using DirectX 10.0)

    Its sad and pathetic at the same time.

    DirectX 10.0 should be a "transitional" solution...That is, it covers both XP and Vista. This allows people to gradually upgrade their hardware, and if they wish, to Vista. What MS is doing now, is throwing everyone (developers and consumers) into the deep end, and expecting them to pay for the changes. (I suspect some would be put off by this, while the majority will continue to accept it...Which is unfortunate).


    Great article BTW. Interesting to see the high-end stuff...But I doubt I can afford it in this lifetime!

    I have two questions!

    (1) Any chance of looking at a triple video card setup?
    (I saw a presentation slide which had 2 video cards in SLI, while a third showed something else on screen).

    (2) Any idea when the GF8600-series comes?
    (mainstream market solution).
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    Great, links arent working ?

    http://www.gamedev.net/reference/programming/featu...">http://www.gamedev.net/reference/programming/featu...
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    http://www.gamedev.net/reference/programming/featu...">

    This article was written by a friend of mine back in April after an interview with ATI. Perhaps this will clear some things up.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    When you break all hardware/software ties to something that has been around for 4-5 years? Its not that easy making it "transitional". From a software perspective, D3D10 is not compatable with XP in the least.

    I for one, think this is a step in the right direction.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    Supposedly all of the changes to the WDDM make porting DX10 back to Windows XP "impossible", although I'm more inclined to think the correct term would be "difficult" and you also have to add in "it doesn't fit with MS marketing protocol". WDDM is quite different in Vista however, so maybe there's some substance to the claims. Reply
  • cosmotic - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    On page 9:

    --Briefly explain what a sub-pixel is in the sentence before--
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    Due to the size of this article and the amount of time it took to get ready, let me preempt any comments about the spelling and grammar. I am in the process of editing the final document as I read through it, and there are spelling/grammar errors. If they bother you too much, check back in an hour. If you read this an hour from now and you still find errors, then you can respond, though it would be useful to keep all responses in a single thread like this one.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jarred Walton
    Editor
    AnandTech.com
    Reply
  • xtknight - Thursday, November 16, 2006 - link

    On p 12 (gamma corrected AA):

    "This causes problems for thing like thin lines."
    Reply
  • acejj26 - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    "If DirectX 10 sounds like a great boon to software developers, the fact that DX10 will only be supported in Windows XP is certain to curb enthusiasm. "

    I believe this should say "DX10 will only be supported in Windows Vista..."

    Not to be rude, but shouldn't the article be edited BEFORE being published??
    Reply

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