UT2K3 and X2
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.
Unreal Tournament 2003
Even though Unreal Tournament 2003 is a honest-to-god game, the benchmark feature that many reviews use is synthetic because it is not what a user experiences in a real game. However, this doesn’t mean it still isn’t relevant. The benchmark does show us how well hardware perform with the game’s engine and gives you a rough idea of what you can expect in an online match (I mentally subtract 10 FPS from the results to give me a better rough estimate of real game performance with real players).
|Skin and Texture Details||Ultra High|
|Effects (i.e. coronas, decals)||All enabled|
|Anisotropic Filtering||Specified through LevelOfAnisotropy variable|
The FX5700 Ultra shows some good improvement over the FX5600 Ultra. It has about a 10 FPS lead over its predecessor in 1024×768 and in 0xAnti-aliasing in 1600×1200. Compared to the Radeon 9500, it beats it by a very significant margin. However, the softmod Radeon 9500 (our “Radeon 9700” proxy) absolutely mops the floor with everyone elses silicon, there’s no comparison. So in this popular benchmark, the FX5700 Ultra still has a long way to go before matching or beating our “Radeon 9700”.
Looking at the playable numbers, it appears that even though the FX5700U is faster than the FX5600U, it is no more playable than its older sibling. Both cards play the game fine at 1024×768, and both do poorly at 1600×1200. So if you’re looking at basic UT2K3 functionality, the FX5700Ultra won’t give you much more playable options than what you already get from a FX5600Ultra.
However, as we saw in the 3DMark 03 and Aquamark 3 scores earlier, the real improvement may be in the shader/DirectX 9 department and those improvement aren’t that well reflected in UT2K3. So let’s move onto the other tests.
|X2: The Threat (Rolling Demo)|
Since the release of the rolling demo a while back, nothing has materialized from the company making this game. According to EgoSoft, the European release has been postponed until February 2004. So it looks like this game is going to take a while longer before coming out. With that said, I doubt I will be using this benchmark again since it is unfair to consumers who are basing purchasing decisions on a game that won’t be around for another 3 months (or more).
However, though the game has been delayed, the benchmark itself is pretty intensive. It has a lot of bump-mapped surfaces and projected shadows, which typically brings a capable card to its knees. The game employs mostly DirectX 8 (I’m not sure about DirectX 9) specifically the use of Vertex Shaders.
|Anti-aliasing||Disabled (AA controlled through display driver)|
Looking at these results, it would appear that the FX5700 Ultra and the Radeon 9500 softmod are pretty much equal. This is the first time so far in our tests that the FX5700U has been able to match it. Performance seems to be very solid up to 1600×1200 at 0x0 AAxAF (assuming 30FPS is sufficient for this unreleased game). So if you’re looking forward to this game, you’ll be happy to know that the FX5700U appears to run it fine even with high settings at 1024×768.