Unreal Tournament 2003

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The UnrealEngine is one of the most popular game engines used by game developers and publishers today. It’s therefore important to gauge a video card’s effectiveness with a game using this technology. The game we are using again to test with is Unreal Tournament 2003.

CTF-Face3 DM-Asbestos

  • Unreal Tournament 2003 has been chosen as the UnrealEngine benchmark as it is a good test for DirectX 8.1b as well as a benchmark for multiplayer UnrealEngine games.
  • The map DM-Asbestos was chosen to demonstrate the card’s ability to render strictly interior environments.
  • The map CTF-Face3 was chosen to demonstrate the card’s ability to render predominantly exterior environments.

UT2K3 DM-Asbestos Benchmarks

  • DM-Asbestos 1024×768

    UT2K3 Benchmark. DM-Asbestos. 1024x768, High details. UT2K3 Benchmark. DM-Asbestos. 1024x768, Low details.

    At both low and high details, the MSI FX5600-VTDR128 comes out strong at this resolution on this particular map. At 8x anti-aliasing with high details however, we see the card struggle a bit. If the MSI FX5600 already has problems with 8x on this level, then we should see some interesting results when we test a large exterior map like CTF-Face3. We can see that even though NVIDIA marketing materials claim “essentially all modes of antialiasing are available at all resolutions without any performance hit”, the benchmarks here prove otherwise.

  • DM-Asbestos 1280×1024

    UT2K3 Benchmark. DM-Asbestos. 1280x1024, High details. UT2K3 Benchmark. DM-Asbestos. 1280x1024, Low details.

    At high details we lose about half our effective anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering options. Anything above 4xAA is unacceptable for online play (51 FPS at 4×0 is barely enough breathing space as it is). However at low details we can still play at everything except 8x AA, which is very good. So our sweet spot is somewhere between 2×0 to 4×0 with adjustments to details. Some strange behaviour here – there is a VERY large maximum FPS spike at 8xAA on high details. I re-ran this benchmark to confirm the numbers, and it came out the same.

  • DM-Asbestos 1600×1200

    UT2K3 Benchmark. DM-Asbestos. 1600x1200, High details. UT2K3 Benchmark. DM-Asbestos. 1600x1200, Low details.

    At high details, the only playable resolution is 0x0, but with 66 FPS, it is barely enough to handle this interior map. However, with low details, you get playable resolutions up to 4×0 AAxAF. The MSI FX5600 is beginning to show us that it’s not really capable of gaming at high resolutions. That’s not to say you can’t play at 1600×1200, just be prepared to make sacrifices to your levels of detail. For some reason with 2xAA on low details, we see it performing contrary to the pattern established in all previous benchmarks – 2x anti-aliasing is actually better than 0x8 AAxAF. I wish this was a sample anomaly, but re-running the benchmark yielded the same result.

UT2K3 CTF-Face3 Benchmarks

  • CTF-Face3 1024×768

    UT2K3 Benchmark. CTF-Face3. 1024x768, High details. UT2K3 Benchmark. CTF-Face3. 1024x768, Low details.

    Here we see the MSI FX5600-VTDR128 doing very well in all benchmarks except for 8xAA for low and high details. For some reason, 8xAA performance drops through the floor and goes against the established average FPS trend. However, this card is capable of playing at 4×8 AAxAF with high details, which is quite a feat in CTF-Face3. Everything looks promising here except for 8xAA (I’m not sure what happened there. Strange.).

  • CTF-Face3 1280×1024

    UT2K3 Benchmark. CTF-Face3. 1280x1024, High details. UT2K3 Benchmark. CTF-Face3. 1280x1024, Low details.

    We can see that at high details, there really isn’t much you can play at except 0xAA. However at low details, it is playable up to the neighbourhood of 4xAA. I imagine if you want to play at 1280×1024, you will have your settings somewhere in the 2xAA range. This should give you enough FPS to maintain smooth action, but you will probably have to adjust your details.

  • CTF-Face3 1600×1200

    UT2K3 Benchmark. CTF-Face3. 1600x1200, High details. UT2K3 Benchmark. CTF-Face3. 1600x1200, Low details.

    At this high of resolution, we are more interested in anisotropic filtering than anti-aliasing, since the high resolution reduces the jagged effect on rendered edges. So looking at pure aniso tropic filtering, we see that you can still possibly game at high details, but I suspect you would want to adjust the details down to give yourself more breathing space. You can turn on some anti-aliasing with low details if you want, but on a standard 19″ monitor, it will be a waste of the GPU’s processing power.

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