Doom 3 contains the latest incarnation of John Carmack's famous game engines. Whether gamers loved or hated the gloomy atmosphere of Doom 3, one cannot deny that the engine is capable of producing exceptional visuals. With such technology on-hand, and id's engine licensing history, it'll only be a matter of time before several Doom 3-engine based game will come to market.
Doom 3 Test Settings
Doom 3 Test Results
Note: Utilizing high image quality settings automatically enables 8x anisotropic filtering within the game engine.
The Doom 3 results don't seem extremely high, but that's because the results presented are not in direct comparison with any other cards. 69 frames per second at 1600x1200 with high quality image settings is quite the feat. Enabling anti-aliasing takes an increased toll as the resolution goes up, but the game is still extremely playable at 1280x1024 with 4x AA with all the eye candy enabled.
Half-Life 2 was the "other" big FPS to be released last year. As was to be expected, the Source engine is stellar and also outputs incredible visuals. While the debate about the superior engine is never-ending, one cannot deny that Half-Life 2's brighter color palette and more realistic setting aids the Source engine to display its full potential.
Half-Life 2 Test Settings
Half-Life 2 at_c17_c12 Test Results
The first Half-Life 2 demo, at_c17_c12 displays just how CPU intensive Half-Life 2 can be in certain areas. Increasing both the resolution and applying anti-aliasing techniques barely affects the performance at all.
Half-Life 2 3dnews_canals Test Results
The 3dnews_canal demo is a rather different story as it is set in the canals sections, where the GPU must calculate an extremely high amount of water as well as all the accompanying reflections of the environments upon the surface. This tends to be among the most demanding areas for any video card, yet the GeForce 7800 GT outputs very good performance numbers, allowing smooth play all the way up to 1600x1200.
80 frames per second at 1280x960 with 4x AA and 8xAF or 1600x1200 would make even the most discerning player smile. Choosing between either setting is more of a personal preference. While I used to be part of the camp that preferred increasing the resolution as opposed to applying AA and AF, I've recently switched teams and favor the increased image quality provided by image-enhancing techniques.