NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Preview
Starsiege Tribes Benchmarks
Starsiege Tribes benchmarks? Well there's a story that goes along with it. Michael Olsen, who is a long time Startsiege Tribes player, approached me about benchmarking the OpenGL based game on the GeForce2 GTS. I had an opportunity to meet with Michael in person and he offered me with a copy of Starsiege Tribes so I decided to give it a shot.
Tribes supports a timedemo feature which calculates the average frames per second a demo runs on a system. To benchmark Tribes, the following command is entered in the console (press the ~ key): $timedemo=true;. Next, choose a demo using the Demo option on the main menu and run it. After the demo is complete, enable the console again and enter: timedemo(0);. The average frames per second will be displayed. Note that the color depth the game runs in is based on the Windows desktop color depth.
These benchmark results are from version 1.11 of Tribes using the standard Beatdown demo. High detail settings were selected with voices enabled and CD music disabled. The TNT/TNT2 OpenGL driver was used in lieu of the Generic OpenGL driver as it offered better performance.
Tribes - High Quality Settings - Beatdown Demo
Playing Tribes with the GeForce2 offered excellent gameplay at 1024x768 and 1152x864 in 32-bit color under high graphics detail. Performance at 1280x960 was a bit sluggish. This is to be expected as Tribes is based on vast outdoor settings with terrain, mountains, and buildings, which all add up to large amounts of texture data. Lowering the graphics detail to medium or playing in 16-bit color provided smooth game play at 1280x960.
I also enabled full scene antialiasing (FSAA) and ran a couple benchmarks using the same settings as above. The results, using 16-bit color, were 71.6fps at 800x600 and 63.5fps at 1024x768.
FSAA - 800x600 @16bpp
With the release of Tribes 2 on the horizon and Dynamix promising to support transform and lighting as reported by Game Links, a GeForce based card just might fit the bill for avid Tribes players:
Getting back to the technology side for a moment, Dynamix has promised to support Transform and Lighting, a feature in nVidia's GeForce and GeForce 2 GTS cards. What's transform lighting you ask? Essentially it brings more smoothness to the game and allows for higher resolution animations to be seen. Other parts of the technology deal with lighting aspects such as shadows, glare effects, etc.
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