Unreal Tournament 2004

While Wolfenstein is our OpenGL benchmark cornerstone, Unreal Tournament is our SDL cornerstone. We place a lot of weight on our UT2004 benchmarks, since UT is perhaps the largest Linux game released to date. We are anticipating Doom3's Linux release in just a few days, so that may also change things.

We used the assault.dem timedemo in this benchmark.

Unreal Tournament 2004 No AA

Unreal Tournament 2004 4xAA

During the timedemos on ATI cards, we occasionally got mild screen corruption in the game console - white flashing triangles ranging anywhere between 100 and 600 pixels long. There seems to be a documented problem with this on various websites, and it looks like the newer versions of the ATI drivers may fix this. Since we could not get the newest drivers working yet, we cannot vouch for this claim.

Below, you can see how the two video cards shaped up during the first eight seconds of the timedemo.

Unreal Tournament 2004 ATI vs NVIDIA No AA

Our FG utility really gives us something to be proud of when we look at graphs like Unreal Tournament. It's true that the average frames per second are lower on ATI cards over their NVIDIA counterparts, but we see a lot of stability in how the card behaves. You'll notice that although the GeForce 6800 ramps up to 40FPS very quickly, it hits a local minimum while the Radeon is just starting to notch up.

The first scene in which both cards clock down can be found below.

Click to enlarge.

The combination of rendering the exterior landscape (large textures) of the cargo hold, the unusual lighting and shading had affected both cards - although it would seem the Radeon cringed first before the landscape was fully revealed. Our player ducks and mainly looks at the ground for a second or so after this, and you can see the NVIDIA card really ramp up in that half second.

The Test Wolfenstein Enemy Territory
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  • TheWounded - Monday, November 1, 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.
  • henca - Thursday, October 7, 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.
  • MNKyDeth - Tuesday, October 5, 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.
  • jerrysiebe - Tuesday, October 5, 2004 - link

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

    >strings /usr/lib/libGL.so | grep 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.
  • Thetargos - Monday, October 4, 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.
  • plamalice - Monday, October 4, 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.
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, October 4, 2004 - link

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

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  • mczak - Monday, October 4, 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?

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