Benchmark: BF Vietnam
Heading into the options menu for Battlefield: Vietnam, we found ourselves pushing all the sliders for image quality settings to the limit. Looking next at the gameplay settings, we opted to keep the AI at a normal level to reduce the chances of a CPU bottleneck. In order to get a good perception of how the cards ran this title, we decided to use 40 bots running on the La Drang Valley level. This level was chosen because of its dense grass and varying terrain. It should be noted that this game was run completely stock as no patches have been made available.
For each card, all settings were set to “Quality” mode with V-Sync disabled. Specifically on the NVIDIA cards, the option for Trilinear Optimizations was disabled to force “true” trilinear filtering.
Even at this low resolution, we are already seeing the two flagship cards attempt to break away from the pack’s average performance with a few noteable peaks. Overall though, the field handles this setting with ease.
Increasing the resolution to 1600*1200 illustrates the first scenario where the GeForce 6800 Ultra “Extreme” takes the lead from the rest of the field by a comfortable margin.
With the eye-candy enabled, the playing field is level once again with no specific card having any appreciable advantage over another.
The combination of resolution and eye candy used in this test is enough to bring almost any current system to its knees. The ATI cards seem to relish this workload as they manage a significant performance advantage over the NVIDIA cards. It is interesting to note that ATI’s $399MSRP Radeon X800 Pro is easily outpacing NVIDIA’s flagship GeForce 6800 Ultra “Extreme”.