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Gainward GeForce PowerPack! Ultra/650-8X XP “Golden Sample” - Page 8 Of 17

Splinter Cell: Performance

The game first appeared on XBOX with a great success during the first few weeks. UbiSoft then decided it was time to port the game onto our PC's. Wise decision if you ask me. Some thought it would be impossible because of the controls / graphics or what not. Not the case. The PC version has been released on 18th of February this year. Finally the PC enthusiasts are able to enjoy this rich and full of excitement game. Here are some its features:

  • Covert stealth-action featuring a compelling original storyline and characters inspired by the world of Tom Clancy and endorsed by the famous author.
  • Revolutionary lighting, shadowing, animation, physics, and sound effects create an astonishingly realistic tension-filled experience.
  • Comprehensive stealth techniques including sniping, split jumping, zip lining, rappelling, and using human shields bring game play possibilities to a new level.
  • Experimental intelligence gadgets (night/thermal vision goggles, prototype weapons and surveillance gear, etc.) give Fisher the edge against his enemies.

Splinter Cell was built on the new Unreal engine which allows for stunning special effects such as dynamic lights and compound shadows. The game settings we've used for our benchmarks were set to 'medium' because of high system requirements. Although it does not appear that the game is CPU limited you will still need at least 1.5 GHz processor to enjoy somewhat smooth game play At the time of the review I did not have the retail game in my possession, that's why Demo 2 was used. As far as I know, the differences between Demo 1 and 2 are different game levels.

1280x1024 2AA-NoAF

1280x1024 2AA-NoAF

1280x1024 2AA-4AF


P4: 1.6A @ 2.39GHz / 512MB PC2100 / Stock Gainward Ti4600
AMD: Athlon XP 1900+ @ 1.6GHz / 512MB PC2100 / Stock Gainward Ti4200

Let me start off by saying that applying FSAA doesn't seem to produce great effects in terms of image quality. Yes, some of the jaggies disappear but I expected a whole lot more. As I recall correctly, this has been an issue on both NVIDIA and ATI cards. For more info on this, visit our forums here. The performance on our Ti4200 wasn't bad at all. Few quirks here and there, but no major slowdowns even at 1024x768. The 1280x1024 resolution was only slapped on for comparison. With full confidence I'm stating that you won't be happy while playing at that resolution. Even with low details it's simply a waste of your time. Though it's not a very dynamic game it would be nice to get all around 35 FPS with 2X AA and 2X AF at 1024x768. Unfortunately we only got 30 FPS even without any IQ enhancements. Slapping 2X and 4X Anisotropic filtering produced just about the same scores (27 FPS).

I'm still not very confident as to what mode to recommend. 1280x1024 is out of the question. If you want better image quality, 800x600 resolution / medium details with 2X AA and 2X AF should do the trick. As to 1024x768, run it plain without any AA or AF. Those are our best bets. If you find those modes to be performance killers, try playing with in-game settings and disabling / lowering some of them.

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Last Updated on April 12, 2003

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