There is surely some sort of sick pleasure and satisfaction when you hear the words “Holy S#!*” come through your speakers after you’ve cranked the image quality settings as high as they will go in Unreal Tournament 2004. For our testing, we decided to use the Red Planet Onslaught map as this game type offers a wide variety of intensity. Though there are times when you might be the only person at a specific area of the map, there are also many occassions where everyone faces off in total chaos to capture a node. With 25 bots in the map, we were sure to have some interesting gameplay.
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.
At these low settings, we see the NVIDIA cards take control of this benchmark. Here, even the $399MSRP GeForce 6800 GT outperforms ATI’s flagship offering.
Enabling some eye-candy we see the field come together once more with the same average performance trend for each card.
Although it is certainly not a landslide, the ATI cards once again walk away with the performance crown under the most taxing settings. Once again, it is hard not to notice how well the Radeon X800 Pro is doing against some of the pricier cards.
*It should be noted that the reference GeForce 6800 GT board we had refused to load this application successfully. After speaking with NVIDIA, it was discovered that the card would function properly once Hyper-Threading was disabled in the BIOS. This bug has been reported and a solution is underway.