All of the screenshots were taken from the same position, which was accomplished by starting a game without bots and entering "suicide" in the console. After suiciding, the player can choose to continue play and will start at a random respawn point. Unfortunately, it often took 5 or more suicides to get to the respawning point where the screenshots were being taken.
The ForceWare image and optimization settings have a definite impact on the performance in Unreal Tournament 2004, which is shown in the bar chart below. The benchmark results are based on playing back a custom demo from the Inferno map at a resolution of 1024x768 with No AA / 8X AF and with 4X AA / 8X AF. All in-game graphics options were at their maximum setting. Since I was awaiting delivery of the parts for a new PCI Express based system, I benchmarked with the Athlon 64 3400+ and GeForce 6800 Ultra.
At the top of the chart is the performance using the high quality image setting (106 fps with No AA / No AF, 92 fps with 4X AA / 8X AF), where all optimizations are forced off and trilinear filtering is performed on all texture stages. Click here to reference the driver image and optimization settings.
The next two sets of results are based on the quality image setting. The first set is with trilinear optimizations off and the second set is with trilinear optimizations on. In the trilinear optimization results from the first (129/114) and second (147/132) sets, anisotropic mip optimizations and anisotropic sample optimizations were off. Finally, within each of the trilinear optimizations results, anisotropic mip optimizations were enabled, which was followed by enabling anisotropic sample optimizations.
UT2004 Benchmark Results
The results reveal that trilinear optimizations have an impact on the performance of Unreal Tournament 2004. Enabling trilinear optimizations increased performance by 14% (from 129 fps to 147 fps) with No AA / 8X AF and by 16% (from 114 fps to 132 fps) with 4X AA / 8X AF.
TEXTURE FILTERING VIDEO
The ability to use video in graphics card reviews has become a reality with today's high-end systems and the continued improvement of the FRAPS utility. The Real-time gameplay video using FRAPS thread in the graphics card forum contains some interesting information about this subject.
Video Clip Scene
There are a couple of reasons why I created videos for this article. First, I wanted to compare them to video that I captured last year from Unreal Tournament 2003 using the GeForce FX. Unlike a static screenshot, those videos clearly reveal the mipmap transitions that occurred even when trilinear filtering was being requested by the application. The second reason is due to the following statement from NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 GT Reviewers Guide.
Viewing objects in motion gives a much better illustration of filtering quality. Thatís because trilinear filtering is a technique designed to reduce the appearance of the bands caused by the mipmap transitions when the image is in motion and the banding is more noticeable.
Having used the 65.76 drivers for a limited time, I am impressed with their texture filtering capabilities. The team at NVIDIA who worked on developing these optimizations are to be commended for a job well done.
The following video clips contain about 6 seconds of footage of the player moving forward in the area pictured above. In order better spot mipmap transitions, the player view was angled towards the ground and the MoveForward setting in the UT2004.ini file was reduced from 300 to 1.