Epic's Engine

Epic Games is a name that any gamer should be familiar with. Titles ranging from Epic Pinball all the way through Unreal Tournament have been the products of a very talented group of developers who are hard at work every day on building bigger and better games for the industry.

Epic's current brainchild is of course the Unreal Engine. This engine has come a long way since the debut of Unreal as it is a constantly evolving entity. Most of you are probably also familiar with Unreal Tournament, an equally popular evolution of the Unreal Engine. And more recently there have been a number of other games announced such as Unreal Tournament II, Unreal II and Unreal Championship (Xbox) that are to use the current build of the Unreal Engine.

You should keep in mind that the current build of the Unreal Engine has actually come a long way since the days of Unreal Tournament. While Unreal Tournament left off at build 436, Epic is now up to build 848 on the Unreal Engine.

One of the things that has changed considerably -- mostly because we have powerful enough hardware to allow this -- is the number of polygons that the engine now pushes in any given scene. With the introduction of ATI's Radeon 8500 and NVIDIA's GeForce3 Ti 500 and the promise of even more powerful cards just months away, developers such as Epic are more than encouraged to experiment with even more detailed scenes.

It is the latest build of the Unreal Engine that Epic has used to spin off what is being tentatively called the Unreal Performance Test 2002. This benchmark is designed to stress today's systems, from CPU to GPU, using a game engine that will be widely used in the very near future. With Epic's help, we'll be able to provide you all with an idea of exactly how your systems will perform in games that will be coming out in the near future. It's time to put the manufacturers' claims to the test and find out what platforms are truly built for the next-generation games.

If you'll remember, the original Unreal engine was geared for software rendering but it has evolved into something that is entirely geared for hardware accelerated 3D rendering thus making it a much better benchmark of GPUs. Eventually Epic will have a version of the Unreal Performance Test 2002 that will encompass every feature in the engine that will eventually make its way to Unreal Tournament II among other titles.

Index Project: GPU Benchmark

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