Review By Kalyan Rai - December 13, 2004 Edited By Ed Piotrowski
X2: THE THREAT
Egosoft's gorgeous space sim X2: The Threat is another game relies heavily on bumpmapping to deliver stunning visuals. X2 primarily utilizes pixel shader 1.1 and vertex shader 1.4 and is so noted in the timedemo log. The in-game benchmark is in the form of a rolling demo of 23 rendered cut scenes. All in-game settings were enabled except for "Automatic Quality Control."
Again the Leadtek A400 Ultra TDH delivers playable frame rates. The game is fully enjoyable with all settings at their maximum with anti-aliasing set to 4x and anisotropic filtering at 8x.
F1 Challenge '99-'02
This game is the de facto title for Formula 1 racing fans. Though it seems rather dated in that it doesn't have the special graphic effects that are available in today's titles, it still commands a lot of respect because of a brilliant physics engine and ability to deliver a realistic simulation. A custom demo was recorded on the Melbourne track and replayed. All in-game settings were set to the maximum levels for benchmarking.
Though not the most challenging circuit in the game, the results are indicative of this card's ability to deliver playable frame rates. The perception of speed is what makes F1 Challenge better than other racing games. Higher frame rates also allow for higher level of accuracy when driving around circuits, as a fraction of second can cause you to understeer or oversteer into or out of a corner. The high frame rates are also carried onto the games most graphically demanding course (due to the close proximity of buildings around) the Monaco Street circuit.
Leadtek claims its "Air Surround," cooling system allows for "maximum overclocking." To see if it was indeed true, I upped the core and memory speed through the frequency applet available in the Forceware control panel. In the end, I managed to overclock the card to just shy of GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme levels at 449 MHz core and 1.19GHz memory. Doom 3, Far Cry and X2 were utilized to find if the overclock helped the average frame rate at 1280 x 1024 with 4x AA and 8x AF.
Yes it is true that "Air Surround" helps with changing the physical clock frequency, but the results show that overclocking doesn't help too much in the tested games. This is most likely due to my old CPU bottlenecking the card and preventing it from reaching its full potential.