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Galaxy Zeus 5700 Ultra Review - Page 2 Of 4

UNREAL TOURNAMENT 2003

Performance testing begins with Unreal Tournament 2003 and Tim "The Baron" Murray's custom botmatch demo (1.2MB). The demo is a recording of a match with 5 bots that takes place on the DM-Icetomb map and is around three minutes long. The DM-Icetomb map originated from the UT2003 Bonus Pack that was developed by Epic.

Unreal Tournament 2003 - Icetomb Map
Unreal Tournament 2003 - Icetomb Map

First are results from the standard botmatch demo that takes place on the DM-Antalus map.

UT2003 Botmatch Results - DM-Anatalus
UT2003 Botmatch Results - DM-Anatalus

And from Tim's DM-Icetomb botmatch.

UT2003 Botmatch Results - DM-Icetomb
UT2003 Botmatch Results - DM-Icetomb

The antialiasing performance of the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra is a welcome addition for a mainstream product. Even on the intensive DM-Icetomb map, 1024x768 with 4X antialiasing delivers a respectable average frame rate of 46 fps. However, there were occasions when the minimum frame rate dropped below 20. To avoid excessive spikes in performance, lowering antialiasing to 2X turns out to be a beneficial compromise on graphics cards that are limited by a 128-bit memory bus.

HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED

Originally developed by Bungie for the Xbox, Halo performance on the PC is greatly infleuenced by the capabilities of the graphics sub-system. The Halo engine was designed to render scenes using one of the four pixel shader versions - 2.0 (DX9), 1.4 and 1.1 (DX8), and fixed function (DX7). Pixel shader version 2.0, which offers the best visual quality, was used in the Halo benchmark to measure the DirectX 9 capabilities of the Zeus 5700 Ultra.

Halo
Halo

Along with pixel shader 2.0, I defined a maximum detail setting, where all in-game graphics options were set to their highest value. A medium detail setting followed, which was based on the maximum detail setting with shadows and decals decals disabled. Finally, a low detail setting was used whereby all in-game graphics options were set to their lowest value with the exception of textures, which was set to medium.

Halo Benchmark Results - Pixel Shader 2.0
Halo Benchmark Results - Pixel Shader 2.0

While I enjoy playing Halo, the game is unforgiving as performance on the most powerful systems is mediocre. To obtain an acceptable frame rate while playing on lower-end hardware, image quality will have to be sacrificed. This was the case during gameplay from the single player campaign mode as I used 800x600 with shadows and decals turned off.

CALL OF DUTY

In testing Call of Duty, I made use of a mutiplayer demo from the POW Camp that was recorded by Mike. The benchmark results he obtained from a GeForce FX 5700 Ultra in this review are similar to the results I obtained.

Call of Duty
Call of Duty

In-game graphics options were configured to their maximum setting with the exception of character detail, model detail, and model textures, which were set to high. Sound can not be disabled within the game and I used EAX, which eats up quite a few CPU cycles in Call of Duty.

Call of Duty Benchmark Results
Call of Duty Benchmark Results

Since sound was enabled, the results are not a true gauge of raw GPU performance. It does provide an idea of actual gaming performance with the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra. Switching to 2D sound will provide a few extra frames.

With a result of 49 fps, the Zeus 5700 Ultra appears to handle 1280x1024 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering. While the number being reported is the average frame rate, the minimum frame rate dropped low enough to cause a number of misplaced shots. I lowered the resolution to 1024x768, while continuing to use 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering, and have been playing through the single player campaign with no performance issues.

Next Page: X-The Threat, F1 Challenge, and Tiger Woods 2004

Last Updated on January 27, 2004


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