Bringing it all Together

With our look at the low end and mainstream markets wrapped up, it's time to take a look at how everything stacks up against everything else. Yes, it is difficult to really see what's going on here, but that's why we broke our GPU coverage down into three bite sized parts. We can pick a monitor size and look at how much graphics power we need to get the performance we want, or just see how much of an advantage one class of cards has over another. As we've already looked at 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1920x1200 (in our previous article), here we will break out 1600x1200 and then look at scaling.

Unreal Tournament 3 Performance

Looking at this graph, the AMD performance advantages are certainly clear. Bringing it all home is our scaling graph:

click to enlarge

There isn't much to be said here that hasn't already been covered. We do see more instances of cards scaling differently in this test than usual, and of course, there is the fact that AMD performance is quite good.

Final Words?

Well, these can't really be the final words on Unreal Tournament 3 performance, as running a flyby in the beta version of a demo for the game is more of a preview of what might come to pass. Epic still has time to refine their software, and AMD and (especially) NVIDIA will be working on prepping their drivers for the launch of the game as well.

While these tests did a good job of reproducing the numbers we saw when running around with FRAPS, a full multiplayer timedemo with character models, effects, and high resolution textures (which are not included in this beta demo) could really change what we see here. When we are able to get access to the demoplay feature of UT3, we will certainly revisit our tests with a much more brutal work load.

Hopefully this look at GPU performance under UT3 has been insightful, but our testing really leaves us with more questions than answers. Will AMD remain on top when the game launches? How will final game performance compare to this beta preview? Will the demo playback functionality change the playing field? Stay tuned, and we will answer these questions as soon as we can.

Mainstream 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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