Unreal Performance Test 2002 - Build 918

We originally debuted this test months ago but it has been healthily evolving since then. The premise behind the Unreal Performance Test is to take the current build of Epic's Unreal Engine and test today's graphics cards using it. This not only better prepares you for what to expect when games featuring the engine come out (e.g. Unreal Tournament 2003) but it also helps the guys at Epic during the development stage as they can work out driver bugs with the hardware vendors long before the engine's public debut.

The engine we're testing with now is up to build 918, up from build 848 we originally tested with back in January. The benchmark today is much more stressful than even what we used in our GeForce4 review and according to Epic, it's even more stressful than most game scenarios will be but it makes for a wonderful benchmark. A number of optimizations for both ATI and NVIDIA's architectures have also been implemented into the engine. The only thing to keep in mind is to not focus on the actual frame rates themselves but the performance standings as things will be a bit less stressful when UT2003 comes around.

Unreal Performance Test 2002
800x600x32
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 128MB

NVIDIA GeForce3 64MB

ATI Radeon 8500 64MB

ATI Radeon 8500LE 128MB

NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 200 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 460 64MB

ATI Radeon 7500 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 64MB

49.3

42.0

40.9

40.2

38.3

33.0

32.2

25.4

17.3

|
0
|
10
|
20
|
30
|
39
|
49
|
59

In our GeForce4 review the Ti 4600 completely dominated the UPT benchmarks and although the Ti 4200 is clocked significantly lower, we see the same hints of domination here at 800 x 600. A 17% performance advantage over the GeForce3 is nothing to laugh at, especially for a card that will be made available at the $199 mark.

The two 8500 cards do pretty well in this test but as you'll see we ran into some problems as we upped the resolution a bit. You'll notice that the 10% increase in clock speed the original 8500 holds over the new 8500LE 128MB isn't enough to really separate the two at this low of a resolution. Let's see how things change at 10x7.

Unreal Performance Test 2002
1024x768x32
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 128MB

NVIDIA GeForce3 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 200 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 460 64MB

ATI Radeon 8500 64MB

ATI Radeon 8500LE 128MB

NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 64MB

ATI Radeon 7500 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 64MB

44.2

33.3

29.3

23.5

21.0

19.8

17.9

14.7

11.5

|
0
|
9
|
18
|
27
|
35
|
44
|
5

The higher the resolution goes the more the Ti 4200 ends up dominating this test. Although priced similarly to the GeForce4 MX 460, the GeForce4 Ti 4200 makes it very clear that there's more to performing well than just carrying the GeForce4 name.

Earlier we mentioned the performance anomalies at higher resolutions with the ATI cards and here you'll see exactly what we're talking about. Using the latest drivers just released last week the performance on all of the ATI cards is hurt pretty significantly here at higher resolutions. Even the GeForce4 MX 460 is able to pull ahead of the Radeon 8500 and the Radeon 8500LE. We'll be working with Epic and ATI to see if we can resolve these issues.

Luckily there are no visual artifacts by any of the cards/drivers.

Unreal Performance Test 2002
1280x1024x32
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 128MB

NVIDIA GeForce3 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 200 64MB

ATI Radeon 8500 64MB

ATI Radeon 8500LE 128MB

ATI Radeon 7500 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 460 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 64MB

NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 64MB

31.2

23.8

20.8

20.6

19.7

15.9

15.6

11.7

7.1

|
0
|
6
|
12
|
19
|
25
|
31
|
37

With 1600x1200 being a bit of a stretch for most of these cards, the highest resolution we tested at was 1280x1024. The picture doesn't change too much here, except for the fact that the GeForce4 MX line drops from competitive to the bottom of the charts.

The Test CPU Scaling under Unreal Performance Test 2002

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