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GeForce2 FSAA Shootout - OpenGL Performance

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Soldier Of Fortune

Now we turn over our attention to games developed under OpenGL. The Detonator 3 drivers provide FSAA ratios of 1.5x1.5 and 2x2 under OpenGL.  Developed using the Quake2 graphics engine, I chose Soldier of Fortune since it's a good benchmark to gauge the performance in older 3D games such as Half-Life, Quake2, and Kingpin.

The following images are from the Raven office map, which illustrates the difference between no FSAA and 2x2 FSAA.

FSAA Disabled - 640x480 2x2 FSAA - 640x480
FSAA Disabled - 640x480 - Click to Enlarge 2x2 FSAA Enabled - 640x480 - Click to Enlarge
FSAA Disabled - 640x480 - Click to Enlarge 2x2 FSAA Enabled - 640x480 - Click to Enlarge

FSAA under OpenGL offers a noticable improvement - especially when using the 2x2 setting. Edges appear smoother, which can be seen in the above images (click here to enlarge), and the effects of texture swimming are kept to a minimum.

FSAA Disabled - 640x480 2x2 FSAA - 640x480
FSAA Disabled - 640x480 - Click to Enlarge 2x2 FSAA - 640x480 - Click to Enlarge

Graphics for the benchmark runs were at maximum quality settings. Transform and lighting and texture compression were enabled. Default sound, with EAX disabled, was used. Using EAX takes a pretty good chunk of the processor in Soldier of Fortune.

Soldier Of Fortune Performance - 16-Bit Color

Soldier Of Fortune Performance - 16-Bit Color

Games based on the Quake2 graphics engine are where the GeForce2 MX blows the GeForce2 GTS and Ultra away based on price and performance. Playing Half-Life, Counter-Strike, or Soldier of Fortune at 1280x960 in 16-bit color or at 640x480 at 2x2 FSAA offers excellent performance on the GeForce2 MX.

Soldier Of Fortune Performance - 32-Bit Color

Soldier Of Fortune Performance - 32-Bit Color

On the other hand performance on the GeForce2 MX takes a big hit in 32-bit color when moving past 640x480. However, using 32-bit color in games based on the Quake2 graphics engine don't buy you much in improving graphics quality anyway.

MDK2

With support for hardware transform and lighting, MDK2 is the next OpenGL game we take a look at. At a resolution of 1280x960 in 16-bit color, the GeForce2 MX manages a respectable 57.4fps with FSAA disabled.

Graphics settings were at maximum quality. Hardware transform and lighting and sound were enabled.

MDK2 Performance - 16-Bit Color

MDK2 Performance - 16-Bit Color

Moving to an advanced graphic engine used in MDK2, shows that FSAA performance on the GeForce2 MX begins to dwindle. Going from 640x480 in 16-bit color with no FSAA to 2x2 FSAA causes a decrease in performance of 83% (104fps vs 57fps). The GeForce2 GTS and Ultra hold their own and take a minimal loss in peformance at these settings.

MDK2 Performance - 32-Bit Color

MDK2 Performance - 32-Bit Color

More of the same in 32-bit color. Moving from no FSAA at 640x480 to 2x2 results in a decrease in performance of 168%, 94%, and 43% on the MX, GTS, and Ultra respectively. The GeForce2 Ultra shows off it's brute strength by getting over 80fps with 2x2 FSAA enabled.

Next Page: More OpenGL (X-Isle Demo)

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Last Updated on September 18, 2000

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