EverQuest 2 (Direct X)
Our latest addition to the graphics test suite is EverQuest 2, Sony’s sequel to the wildly popular original. This game has more graphical options than any I have ever seen, and when they are cranked up, the game is stunningly beautiful. And at those settings, we get framerates in the teens even on the most advanced graphics cards.
For my testing, I decided to use the EQ2 provided presets for image quality at Extreme Quality, despite what the screen below shows.
To give you a quick look at how much better the game can look just by moving up one setting, I have screenshots from the game running first in High Performance mode and secondly in High Quality mode. I think you’ll agree that the differences are worth investigating in our video reviews.
EQ2 in High Performance mode – Click to Enlarge
EQ2 in High Quality Mode – Click to Enlarge
First, you’ll no doubt notice that the X850 XT PE is missing from our 4xAA/8xAF test. This is because the ATI driver still does not correctly enabled antialiasing for the game at all. Anisotropic Filtering did work, but without the AA enabled ATI was seeing a big performance advantage, so we dropped them from our graphs. What we can see though from our results in 0x/0x mode, and with just the NVIDIA cards at 4x/8x mode, is that the EverQuest 2 engine is heavily CPU bound for the most part. The 7800 GTX only saw a 5 FPS average improvement over the 6800 Ultra with all the details turned up. Perhaps SLI will paint a better picture?
While in 0x/0x mode we see almost nothing from adding a second GPU, here we do see some improvements that are worth noting. The single 7800 GTX is averaging at 26 FPS while the SLI 7800 GTX cards are pushing out a 41.3 average frame rate, a 58% gain in performance. The 6800 Ultra cards in SLI are still out running the single 7800 GTX, but not by very much.