We've already looked quite a bit at Unreal Tournament 3, but, as promised, here is our low end and mainstream GPU analysis of the beta version of the demo for Unreal Tournament 3. Certainly not a string of words that instills confidence in how well these numbers will represent final game play, but it's the best we've got right now for the best looking UE3 game to date.

Our first look at high end GPU performance showed that AMD's Radeon HD 2900 XT was able to best NVIDIA's flagship hardware in a number of cases and remained very competitive even at high resolutions. Will this trend hold for the rest of the lineup, or is the 2900 XT just well suited to UT3?

We'll find out when we put our hardware to the test. First we will look at low end GPU, then the mainstream parts. Finally, we will bring it all together and look at performance across the board. Before we get to the numbers, here is the hardware we used for these numbers.

Test Setup
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
Motherboard NVIDIA 680i SLI
Video Cards AMD Radeon HD 2900 XT
AMD Radeon HD 2600 XT
AMD Radeon HD 2600 Pro
AMD Radeon HD 2400 XT
AMD Radeon X1950 XTX
AMD Radeon X1950 Pro
AMD Radeon X1650 XT
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX
NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
Video Drivers AMD: Catalyst 7.10
NVIDIA: 163.75
Hard Drive Seagate 7200.9 300GB 8MB 7200RPM
RAM 2x1GB Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400 4-4-4-12
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit

Rather than run all three flybys as we did for the high end hardware, based on the fact that scaling was fairly consistent across maps, we decided only to test the most taxing of the maps: the Suspense CTF map. We will look a resolutions ranging from 800x600 up to 2560x1600. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Low End GPU Performance
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  • jmvillafana - Saturday, October 20, 2007 - link

    I greatly appreciate the large scope of your comparison. As new boards come out, they are just compared to their close competitors. I am out to buy a board and after reading your article I am sure I will make the best decision.
  • GlassHouse69 - Friday, October 19, 2007 - link

    that crap was boring.

    it's so kiddie like.

    where is quake 5 arena?

  • segask - Friday, October 19, 2007 - link

    what about DX10? The X1950 is a DX9 card isn't it?
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    1) Next gen cards finally coming into their own - the 8600 series is beating the old high-end 7900 series, and the HD 2600 series is very close to the X1950pro.

    2) ATI looks great - HD 2900XT way better than the 8800GTS parts, HD 2600 XT way better than the 8600 parts.

    3) X1950XTX is the exception to surprise 1, and seems to be holding up spectacularly well.
  • aka1nas - Friday, October 19, 2007 - link

    The 2900 is only doing so well because there is no AA in the demo.
  • cmdrdredd - Saturday, October 20, 2007 - link

    At playable resolutions the HD2900 can do AA well enough.
  • ChrisSwede - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    If I have an ATI 9800 Pro, what card would that be comparable to? ...or is it too old to even compare to any of these?
  • Spoelie - Friday, October 19, 2007 - link

    it's performance would be slightly slower than a 6600gt, which itself is >~30% slower than the 7600gt
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    First of all it won't be able to run all of the effects...even all of the DX9 effects. Then it also may be limited by it's small memory size. Barring those points though, I'd compare it to the 2400XT, but I wouldn't count on matching the performance.
  • punko - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    I'm running that card with an ancient AMD XP 1800+ at 1024x768 at detail level 5

    Am I missing graphics & performance? Yes.

    But I agree, I have no idea what I'm missing.

    Running about inside the dark walker is great fun.

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