Image Quality – Doom 3

Our IQ Testing

Continuing on with the trend started in our Source Engine article last month, our IQ testing is formatted as you see below.  We have included 4 total images this time for your comparison, each of them lableled with the card, resolution and image quality settings that they were run at.  First, the thumbnail gives you a brief look at the area, though not with enough detail to make a IQ comparison yourself.  The “Full Size” image is a link to full resolution image, in this case 500×500 pixels, in its origial form, just cropped for easy viewing.  The “Enlarged 200%” image is jus what is says, the same image enlarged to 1000×1000 pixels to better show the detail.  These images will show the faults of each cards rendering more easily but also more dramatically than you would see in-game.  Finally, the last image is the “Original Image” at the 1024×768 resolution that we cropped the 500×500 pixel section from. 

Doom 3 – Antialiasing Quality

With all the excitment about Doom 3 it made perfect sense to use it for some of our image quality testing.  Gamers are expecting to see the best quality from Doom 3, and comparing the quality from the NVIDIA and ATI cards should tell us if they are providing gaming experiences on the same level.

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  111

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  112

Full Size

Full Size

Enlarged 200%

Enlarged 200%

Original Image

Original Image

For judging the AA quality of the two cards, we are looking at this section of our benchmark run through.  The spot to pay attention to is the area where the hand rail intersects with the light and surrounding areas.  Here you can see the aliasing that takes place.  On both the NVIDIA and ATI cards, without and AA enabled, there is a lot of aliasing taking place.

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  113

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  114

Full Size

Full Size

Enlarged 200%

Enlarged 200%

Original Image

Original Image

Looking at the same shots with 4xAA enabled on both cards, we see only very minor differences in the image quality between them.  The 6800 series of cards seems to render the edge of the hand rail a bit sharper than the ATI card, which does the antialiasing in a bit softer style.  Looking down at the corner of the hand rail, where it turns 90 degrees, the same holds true with the ATI X800 Pro having just barely softer edges.  Both are acceptable though and should be indistinguishable during any gameplay.

Doom 3 – Anisotropic Filtering Quality

For our AF testing, I decided to utilize the same IQ functions that a gamer would use, and simple test the Doom 3 engine in Medium Quality mode versus High Quality mode. 

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  115

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  116

Full Size

Full Size

Enlarged 200%

Enlarged 200%

Original Image

Original Image

These shots are done in Medium Quality mode.  Here, keep an eye on the area to the left of target icon as well as the floor area above it. 

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  117

Chaintech Apogee AA6800 GeForce 6800 OC - Graphics Cards  118

Full Size

Full Size

Enlarged 200%

Enlarged 200%

Original Image

Original Image

The High Quality shots are big improvement.  The floor grating to the immediate left of the targetting cursor becomes much more clear on the 6800 from MQ to HQ and the flooring behind the cursor doesn’t even appear to have “tiles” in the MQ shot as it does in the HQ image.  The ATI card does a very similar filtering job, with just a slight blurring of the floor textures right in front of the door in the back compared to the NVIDIA card.  Also notice the bricks on the wall behind the left hand side hand rail are a bit sharper and clearer on the NVIDIA image as well.

Overall on Doom 3, I would have to say both NVIDIA and ATI have done well with their AA and AF algorithms and optimizations, with a slight lead (and we mean slight) going to the NVIDIA card for its AF quality.

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