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NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT AGP Preview - Page 3 of 4

NEVERWINTER NIGHTS

Taking a brief detour from the OpenGL-based first-person shooter, we check out performance using the role playing title Neverwinter Nights, which was also developed using OpenGL. Although the game debuted in 2002, BioWare released the Platinum Edition for Windows in October of 2004, which contains the original game plus the Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark expansion packs.

Developed using BioWare's Auroa engine, Neverwinter Nights can be processor intensive on mid-range systems when the dynamic shadowing system is enabled to its full potential. The gameplay walkthrough takes place on the Prelude Academy level, which is offered in the demo. The walkthrough takes about 3 minutes to complete.

Minimum Frame Rate Occurrence

With the GeForce 6600 GT, the minimum frame rate was reached on a couple of occasions during the walkthrough. Both cases involved engaging the enemy in battle, which contained special rendering effects such as the red glowing skeleton pictured above. Both areas were near a light source and had five or more visible characters.

With the High Quality Image setting enabled at a resolution of 1600x1200, the minimum frame rate with no AA and no AF was 31. With 4X AA and 8X AF, the minimum frame rate dropped to 20. The High Quality setting was enabled for the walkthroughs since the results with no AA and no AF revealed that the GeForce 6600 GT was underutilized. This setting provided excellent texture quality while it also corrected a few minor texture artifacts that occurred under the Quality setting.

Benchmark Settings

Benchmark Results

With 8XS AA and 8X AF enabled at 1024x768, the GeForce 6600 GT AGP averaged 44 frames per second while the minimum frame rate was 17.

DOOM 3

The label on the reference GeForce 6600 GT fan is certainly eye-catching and helps point out that Doom 3 runs best on NVIDIA's GeForce 6 Series of graphics cards. But who needs a label when the man himself stated that he uses a GeForce 6800 class graphics card in his primary work station. If you're still not convinced, then look here.

Minimum Frame Rate Occurrence

Rather than using the timedemo command to determine the area(s) when the minimum frame rate occurred, I opted to use the playdemo command. The playdemo command runs a demo at normal game speed without sound, although I would assume that like the timedemo, Doom 3's artificial intelligence and physics engines are not being used.

Minimum Frame Rate Occurrence

Nevertheless, I configured Doom 3 to a resolution of 1024x768 with 4X AA at the High Quality setting, where 8X anisotropic filtering is automatically enabled. After having executed the playdemo six times, the only two areas where the frame rate dropped below 30 are pictured above this paragraph. That is an impressive accomplishment for NVIDIA, as the GeForce 6600 GT is being marketed as a mid-range graphics card!

Benchmark Settings

Benchmark Results

Next Page: Halo, UT2004, and Far Cry Performance

Last Updated on November 23, 2004


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