Creative 3D Blaster 5 FX5900 Ultra Review - Page 4 Of 7
By Steve Angelly & Mike Chambers - September 11, 2003
I selected Battlefield 1942 (BF1942) to measure gameplay performance of the 3D Blaster 5 FX5900 Ultra due to its popularity. There are a number of maps in BF1942 that cause varying degrees of stress on the graphics sub-system and selected Midway, Battle of the Bulge, Berlin, Tobruk, and Iwo Jima. Gameplay performance was measured at three resolutions with No AA/No AF, 4X AA/8X AF, and 8X AA/8X AF. The default clock speeds of 450MHz/850MHz were used for all tests.
During each test run I attempted to remain as close as possible to a pre-determined walkthrough route. Each run lasted approximately 5 minutes and frame rate statistics were recorded with FRAPS running in the background. God Mode was enabled and the renderer.lockfps console variable was increased from 100 to 1000. Deviations in performance did occur, although they were minor. If a significant deviation did occur, I discarded the results and re-ran the test. At least five tests were performed at each setting and the final results were based on an average.
The Midway benchmark scenario began when I disembarked the landing craft on the beach near the south end of the airfield. I proceeded to the airfield compound, boarded a half-track and manned the machine gun.
Battlefield 1942 - Midway
The half-track always headed to the radar station. After securing the radar station I returned to the airfield and manned the anti-aircraft gun at the north end of the runway.
Battlefield 1942 Gameplay Results - Midway
In the Midway map, the 3D Blaster 5 FX5900 Ultra provided smooth performance up to 1280x960 with 4X AA/8X AF. Moving to 8X AA resulted in a noticeable performance drop and with minimum frame rates in the mid-teens the mouse response was extremely sluggish making the game unplayable.
Battle Of The Bulge
In Battle Of The Bulge, the starting point was at the maintenance depot compound furthest from the enemy lines. I drove a half-track west towards the town and crossed the bridge heading to the outpost.
Battlefield 1942 - Battle Of The Bulge
At the outpost, I commanded a tank and navigated to the high ground at the windmill and engaged the enemy. Following the brief tank battle, I crossed the second bridge, and secured the outpost there. I concluded the test by retracing the route back across the bridge and turned west to the enemy command post and respawning area.
Battlefield 1942 Gameplay Results - Battle Of The Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge played well at all resolutions up to 8X AA. Going from 4X AA at 1024x768 to 8X AA resulted in a 50% drop in performance and made the game unplayable for me. This map taxed the 3D Blaster 5 FX5900 Ultra more than the Midway map in the higher resolutions with 4X AA/8X AF. I also tested at 1600x1200 with 2X AA/8X AF and averaged over 60 frames per second.
Starting from the Allied forces respawning point furthest from the enemy, I proceeded through the roadblock to the first group of tanks. I commandeered a tank and headed towards the river.
Battlefield 1942 - Berlin
I then turned north along the river and defeated enemy forces until I arrived at the enemy respawning point.
Battlefield 1942 Gameplay Results - Berlin
The Berlin map is especially taxing and found 1280x960 with 4X AA/8X AF to be the highest playable setting.
The starting point was at the depot furthest from the enemy lines. I acquired an armored vehicle and proceed east to the first allied outpost and defeated enemy tanks. I continued due east across the ravine and through the pass arriving at the enemy command post and respawning area.
Battlefield 1942 - Tobruk
Battlefield 1942 Gameplay Results - Tobruk
Tobruk provided the best performance of all the maps, even at the highest resolutions. I used 8X AA a few times at 1024x768 and found that it played well considering it averaged only 40 frames per second.
I started on the beach after disembarking the landing craft and took possession of beach fortifications. After acquiring a tank, I proceeding up the ridge and took possession of the airfield. I continued west until arriving at the enemy command post and respawning area at the west end of island.
Battlefield 1942 - Iwo Jima
Battlefield 1942 Gameplay Results - Iwo Jima
Performance was excellent up to 1024x768 and 8X AA/8X AF on the Iwo Jima map.
The data in the following table is the average of all the test results and provides us with overall gameplay performance in Battlefield 1942.
Battlefield 1942 Gameplay Results - Overall Average
With all in-game graphics and sound options set to their maximum setting, playing Battlefield 1942 was a remarkable experience. The 3D Blaster 5 FX5900 Ultra has the power to deliver quality gameplay in Battlefield 1942 with a variety of graphics settings that provide an average frame rate of 60 and minimum frame rate of 30.