Performance Test: Unreal Tournament 2003, DM-Asbestos

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Continuing our Unreal Tournament 2003 performance testing, we will now perform the DM-Asbestos test. This map is all interiors, and therefore should run faster than a map like CTF-Face3.

Unreal Tournament 2003. DM-Asbestos.

It seems this map is becoming less relevant as most games are moving away from strictly interior designs to a mixture of interior and exterior environments (not to mention larger teams and vehicles). It is unlikely you will see this game included in our next video card review (nice knowing you DM-Asbestos! :).

Unreal Tournament 2003. DM-Asbestos. 1024x768 benchmark results.
* FX5600 set to 6XS anti-aliasing. **Playable FPS: ~60 FPS or higher.

Unreal Tournament 2003. DM-Asbestos. 1600x1200 benchmark results.
* FX5600 set to 6XS anti-aliasing. **Playable FPS: ~60 FPS or higher.

General Remarks
Be aware that the performance of the FX5600 may be inaccurate. In the weeks leading up to the publishing of this article, there have been numerous discussions about issues with the GeForce FX that may affect UT2K3 performance. So don’t base your purchasing decision on a UT2K3 benchmark alone. You should take into account all possible benchmarks to get the best idea of how a particular card performs.

Radeon 9700
At 1024×768, the Radeon 9700 absolutely blows away all tests. Even at the highest settings of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering (6×16), the Radeon 9700 manages over 100 FPS (simply amazing!). At 1600×1200, as with CTF-Face3 earlier, the Radeon 9700 begins to slow down at 4×8 and higher.

Radeon 9500
The Radeon 9500 does pretty well up to 6xAA on 1024×768. At 1600×1200, we see that the card manages to get a playable 58FPS on the first test, but fails to accomplish any other playable result. 0x8 gaming may be possible with adjustments.

At 1024×768, we see the FX5600 essentially matching the performance of the Radeon 9500 on tests where AF is turned off, and beating the 9500 on test where AF is enabled. The exception being the 6XSx8 setting, but I suspect that it has something to do with the “Intellisample” (“XS”) feature.

At 1600×1200, as seen in CTF-Face3, the only playable setting is at 0x0. However, unlike the Radeon 9500, the FX5600 has better promise of performing well with 0x8 (though not immediately playable with our ultra-high detail settings). Again at 1600×1200, we see the FX5600 beating the Radeon 9500 in tests with aniso-tropic filtering enabled.

As we have seen in CTF-Face3, the FX5200 again shows that it is capable of playing UT2K3 with ultra details up to and including 2×8 AAxAF. Looking at the 1600×1200 results, we can see that it may be possible to play DM-Asbestos with some tweaking. But if you look at the CTF-Face3 results, there’s a lot of ground to gain before things become playable across all sorts of maps.

The GeForce4 Ti4800SE performs well at 1024×768 resolutions. At it’s highest settings, it manages a respectable 55.8 FPS. At 1600×1200, we see better behaviour than what we saw in CTF-Face3. Instead of a drastic drop in performance, we actually see that 2xAA is playable. However, this is a little misleading because if you enable 2xAA, you risk performing poorly in exterior maps.

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