15 Video Cards, One Engine
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
While most computer gamers acknowledge that a good video card is a must for running most of today's games, deciding which cards are actually good, if not the best, is a subject of constant debate. Among the factors complicating this debate: To compete, hardware developers are driven to make cards bearing features that have yet to be implemented in any existing game, while benchmark tests, the most widely accepted method of weighing the power of cards, use older game engines such as Quake III's.
Hardware analysis site AnandTech, acknowledging these issues, has set out to try to clear the air a little regarding the testing of video cards, particularly high-end cards such as the GeForce3 and the Radeon 8500. To do so, AnandTech used one of the latest builds of the Unreal engine, currently being used to create the upcoming titles Unreal II and Unreal Tournament II:
It is the latest build of the Unreal Engine that Epic has used to spin off what is being tentatively called the Unreal Performance Test 2002. This benchmark is designed to stress today's systems, from CPU to GPU, using a game engine that will be widely used in the very near future. With Epic's help, we'll be able to provide you all with an idea of exactly how your systems will perform in games that will be coming out in the near future. It's time to put the manufacturers' claims to the test and find out what platforms are truly built for the next-generation games.The overview of the Unreal Performance Test 2002 is designed to closely simulate a player's perspective during play. Sharp turns, 14 bots with pseudo-random movements, and environments consisting of up to 100,000 triangles make up the flyby.
The testing was done on an AMD Athlon XP 2000+ and was run through the usual gamut of resolutions. Those interested in the results should check out the article at AnandTech.
For those that don't feel like staring at charts, here's the short story: the Radeon 8500 came out on top at every resolution tested except for 1600x1200, at which the GeForce3 Ti 500 topped the chart.
Bear in mind that this is not the end of the story. AnandTech, besides noting that the results are hardly conclusive, anticipates continuing the investigation as the Unreal engine continues its development.
AnandTech: 15-way GPU Shootout
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