Final Words

With a number of upcoming games based on the latest Unreal Engine, performance under this benchmark is extremely important. The numbers we've shown you today are more important than any Quake III score or any number of 3DMarks because they are produced from an engine that will be the backbone of many next-generation games to come; the obvious being Unreal II and of course, Unreal Tournament 2003 but also games like Deus Ex II.

What have we learned from the hours of endless benchmarking? For starters, the GeForce4 was definitely a wise investment for anyone that has already purchased one. Current GeForce4 owners can rest assured that their cards will be able to play the next-generation of FPSes perfectly at very high frame rates. However, we'd caution anyone looking to upgrade in the coming months; ATI's R300 is on the horizon and, from what we're hearing, will be a formidable opponent to the GeForce4 Ti 4600. Then there's the elusive NV30, provided that it does ship on time by the end of this year we'll be seeing some impressive scores from the NVIDIA camp as well.

Without considering its price tag, the Parhelia isn't too bad as Matrox's first new attempt at 3D graphics in two years. But once you take into account the $400 you'll have to shell out for it, hardcore FPS gamers will find little reason to go for the Parhelia. Matrox definitely needs a lower cost version of the Parhelia to gain market share among gamers and it will unfortunately take more than a 64MB part to do that; maybe a single-headed card or some other feature reduced implementation would work for those users that are mainly interested in price/performance rather than features like Surround Gaming.

We're still in a situation where the hardware is ahead of the software, which is definitely good for the end user that's concerned with performance. But it is good to know that we're finally getting games that can give our beloved GPUs more of a workout than what we've been throwing at them for months...

Special thanks to Daniel Vogel of Epic Games for spending his time with us on making this benchmarking comparison as thorough and accurate as possible. And of course a big thanks to everyone at Epic for making such a great looking game.

1600x1200 - DM-Asbestos
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