CodeCreatures, Comanche4 and DronezMark

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Codecult’s CodeCreatures is probably one of the most demanding benchmarks I’ve ever seen, and is mostly a review of the DirectX 8 features rather than an actual game benchmark, as it’s mostly scenes with grass, lakes, etc. Framerates on both of these cards ranged from about 6 to 15 frames per second, not necessarily because the cards were bad, but because the benchmark is so brutal on today’s video cards.

ATI Radeon 9000 Pro Review - Graphics Cards 15

The Radeon 9000 pulls a little ahead of the Ti200, while the MX440, quite obviously is unable to run the benchmark due to a lack of DX8 hardware. Not a good sign for future games.

Comanche4 is another brutal benchmark, but it’s actually tied to a game, and a pretty good game at that. I’ve yet to buy the actual game (this benchmark was run with a demo) but it seems like a lot of fun. What I especially noticed is that the Radeon really shined in fiery scenes and water scenes, etc, you could truly see its vivid 2D quality over the Ti200 or even the MX440.

ATI Radeon 9000 Pro Review - Graphics Cards 16

Neither of the cards are able to pull acceptable framerates in this benchmark.

DroneZMark isn’t quite as demanding as some of these benchmarks, but it still pushes video cards to the limits, as it heavily utilizes DirectX 8 features, which seems to be the key word.

ATI Radeon 9000 Pro Review - Graphics Cards 17

Believe it or not folks, this is NOT a mistake– I had to take a double take on both of these cards and they returned the same results. Needless to say, I was amazed when the 9000 was returning framerates 150% to 200% higher than my Ti200. I was absolutely floored upon seeing the results, and I can’t think of anything to explain it…

I ran this benchmark in the default settings that DroneZMark chose.

The only thing I can think of to explain the difference is that the 9000 is a DirectX 8.1-compliant accelerator and the GeForce3 is only DirectX 8, and perhaps the benchmark uses a lot of DX 8.1 features. If anyone’s got a better explanation, drop me an email…

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