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BFG Technologies Asylum GeForce FX 5900 Ultra Review - Page 4 Of 8

BATTLEFIELD 1942 DEMO

BF1942 is a wildly popular game yet there have been relatively few reviews that use it for real-world benchmarking. Based on my testing I can certainly understand why this lack of benchmarking is the case.

Rumor has it that BF1942 is very CPU dependent/limited. I cannot confirm or deny this, but I can say that based on my testing under the following settings the end result was always an average of ~40 frames per second. I found this to be odd and obviously invalid data.

  No AA/No AF 4xAA/8xAF
1024x768 39.9 fps 39.9 fps
1280x960 39.9 fps 39.9 fps
1600x1200 39.9 fps 39.9 fps

Gameplay Impressions

At 1600x1200 with all settings maxed out and using 4X antialiasing (AA) and 8X anisotropic filtering (AF), I found BF1942 to be playable. At lower resolutions and AA / AF settings performance was better, but the difference wasn't dramatic. The only noticable slowdown occurred when I used 8X AA along with 8X AF (still at 1600x1200). At this point it was not what I consider to be playable. Note that these impressions are based on running through a short, pre-determined path where only light AI resistance was encountered on the Tobruk map. Nevertheless, I was impressed. I'd heard grumblings about BF1942 performance on various cards, but I felt that all modes (with exception of 8X AA / 8X AF) were smooth and responsive. 

Benchmarks  Image Quality Comparisons

With the unreliable benchmarking results, I decided to use BF1942 to concentrate on image quality (IQ) instead. I used the following settings for all screenshots (from an Axis spawn point on the Tobruk map) as listed below:

Graphics Quality High
Effect Quality High
Environment Mapping On
Lightmaps On
Shadows On
Texture Quality High
View Distance 100%
Instant Battle Easy
Overall Difficult 25%
Screen Resolution 1024x768

Note: The comparison images are zoomed-in either at 200% or a mind boggling 500%. This was done by taking the original screenshot and zooming in with JASC Paint Shop Pro 8.0 to prevent any distortion or resizing effects/artifacts. I then took a Windows screenshot (Alt+Print Screen), pasted that back into PSP, cropped out the desired selection and then saved the resulting image.

All images are of no AA / AF (left or top) compared to
images of 4X AA and 8X AF (right or bottom)
 


Highlighted areas of comparison shown below

 

Notice how the edges are much smoother in the AA image (on the right) while the interior of the flag maintains the same sharpness/quality of the original. AF really has little to no effect in this isolated situation (200% zoom).

   



This is a great example of how both AA and AF combine to give you a much higher quality image. Notice how the interior of the vent in the bottom image is much cleaner/defined than the top thanks to AF (500% zoom).

 

This is even a better example of how big a difference AF can make regarding image quality. See how much more defined the brick is on the wall surface? Also note how there is more detail in the "grill" area that is cutout in the wall (500% zoom).


 


Highlighted area of comparison shown below

 



This is a good overall example of both AA and AF improvements. AA makes notable differences in the stair rails, sloping hillside in background and gutter. The AF improvements are obvious as the foreground sand area is much more defined. However, the area of sand from the staircase to the wall in background shows signs of some clipping/banding (500% zoom).


Bottom Line - Battlefield 1942:  Since this game is so popular you'll read opinions on it that cover the entire spectrum. My take on it was that it ran great other than the menu getting blurry at times.

STAR TREK ELITE FORCE 2 DEMO

Based on a highly modified and enhanced Quake III engine; this game offers a diversion to the common Quake III benchmarks while still representing the underlying engine. During my testing I felt that the following settings available from the game's Advanced Video options menu could cause some confusion when used together with the NVIDIA control panel settings: "Full Screen Antialiasing", "nVidia Antialiasing", "Anisotropic Filtering". I decided to always have these settings unchecked (off) so that there was no doubt that the game could be overriding the NVIDIA control panel settings.

Texture Quality High
Texture Filter Trilinear
Full Screen On
OpenGL Extensions On
Full Screen AA Off
nVidia Antialiasing Off
Monitor Synchronization Off
Anisotropic Filtering Off
 
Simple Lighting Off
Simple Lighting Distance Far
Shadows Stencil
Flares Precise
Vertex Lighting On
Dynamic Lights On
Dynamic Lightmaps On
    
Entity Fade Distance Far
Special Effects Detail High
Subdivisions High
Curve Error High
Level of Detail Distance Far
 
Deform Geometry On
Detail Surfaces On
Detailed Textures On
Multitexture On
Wall Decals On
   
Smooth Mouse On
Always Run On
Use Weapon Aim Off

Gameplay Impressions

Unlike BF1942, I was able to get consistent and valid results from my benchmarking in this game. My scenario for testing was to eliminate all the aliens, which takes around 2 minutes, from the Attrexian Station hangar (as Mike did in his 5900 Ultra preview article). I used a balance attack of the Phaser, Federation Assault Rifle and Enhanced Compression Rifle. I used each weapons primary and alternate fire modes. This game is gorgeous and I was able to fully enjoy the eye candy while still having playable frame rates (40 fps) up to 1024x768 at 8X AA / 8X AF. Once I went higher in resolution at 8X AA the frame rates dropped below acceptable levels.

Benchmarks


Bottom Line - Star Trek Elite Force 2:
 I had a blast with this game. Some of the higher resolution and AA / AF settings did cause performance hits which I feel are related more to my system than the card since the early test results were pretty flat across the board.

UNREAL TOURNAMENT 2003 DEMO

There's not much left to be said about UT2K3. The only thing worth mentioning here is that I used the popular benchmarking utility UT2KBench 2.0 from BensCustomCases.com for all test results. The UT2KBench application states that "This benchmark is always run using maximum detail." I also played through a variety of resolutions and AA / AF settings with all of the graphical settings as high as they would go.

I acknowledge all of the attention this game is currently receiving regarding image quality, pseudo-filtering techniques, etc. However, I didn't test these claims as it is really out of the scope of this review. My personal opinion is that the different techniques' end result is tough to distinguish while playing the game. I don't believe that the ends necessarily justifies the means, though, but I also think the jury is still out on this one overall.

Gameplay Impressions

All of my impressions are based off playing a lot of Antalus and Asbestos bot matches from anywhere between a few minutes to close to over an hour or so. I tried a wide variety of resolutions and AA / AF settings and found that anything from 1024x768 at 8X AA / 8X AF and lower was what I felt to be playable. Anything higher than 1024x768 at these AA / AF settings dropped the frame rate to below 30 and the hit was just too much. The game looks great at anything higher than 2X AA in my opinion and my favorite setting was 1280x960 at 4X AA / 8X AF.

Benchmarks - UPDATED

Initially, there was a combination of a copy/paste error and some discrepancies in the frame rate values for the 8XAA / 8XAF settings. I've since re-run all of the benchmarks with UT2KBench 2.0 from BensCustomCases.com and the updated results are reflected below. The frame rate values for the 8XAA / 8XAF settings actually increased from my initial benchmarks by about 10-15 fps.

NOTE: Don't forget that for this entire review I had the card overclocked to:

Core Clock = 500MHz
Memory Clock = 926MHz



 

Bottom Line - Unreal Tournament 2003:  I came away from this feeling like I could play it at basically any setting or resolution comfortably. Despite all the hubbub surrounding this game right now, I really couldn't see much of anything that bothered me regarding IQ other than some cases where I did notice that the filtering appeared to be a bit less than perfect. Of course while I was staring at this I was quickly put out of my misery by a bot that was actually playing the game :)

Next Page: Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights, and IL2-Sturmovik

Last Updated on August 4, 2003


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