The next game to put the NX7800GS to the test was id's Quake 4. The Quake series has a long history of sporting cutting-edge graphics that demand cutting-edge graphical hardware. And like Quake 2, 3 and Doom3 before it, Quake 4 utilizes an engine based on OpenGL rather than DirectX technology for the rendering of graphics. Considering what previous id games have shown graphically, expectations were sky-high for Quake 4.
Quake 4 In-Game Screenshot
Notice the high level of detail on the boxes above. Quake 4 definitely does not dissappoint in the graphics department. Unlike F.E.A.R. and Quake 4's predecessor Doom3, Quake 4 does not provide an in game performance test. The results further below are from actual gameplay. I ran the test at various resolutions and antialiasing settings. All other setting remained the same.
Quake 4 In-Game Settings
The results show, that overall, the game plays very well on the NX7800GS. I was very surprised and happy with the overall gameplay and performance. I played the game at 1600x1200 with 2xAA for many hours and did not experience a framerate drop noticeable enough to stop playing. The NX7800GS holds up under even the harshest of conditions.
Performance results are oulined in the graph below.
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
While an MMORPG may not be the best game to use as a benchmark of a card's performance, it is a game that I spend much of my time in and therefore, performance with the NX7800GS was key. My experiences with F.E.A.R., Quake 4 and WoW will hopefully will give an idea of the quality of product that MSI brings to the table.
World of Warcraft
Like many others, I have been a fan of the Warcraft universe for many years. When introduced to World of Warcraft, I did not realize the potential for graphical quality. I have been playing WoW for over a year and last fall upgraded from a GeForce FX 5600 to a GeForce 6800. This jump in quality was very impressive and provided a vast improvement in my gameplay.
In the same vein, about a month ago, the MSI NX7800GS showed up on my door and immediately after installing the card, WoW was loaded to see if the card had a noticeable difference over the 6800. Lo and behold, once again the jump in quality of graphical rendering was huge. My average framerate jumped from mid-40s to the 60s. And on top of that, I have been able to increase my resolution to 1600x1200; WoW has not been the same since I installed the NX7800GS.
Without a doubt, AGP is a dying technology. However, with the NX7800GS, MSI was able to breath a little extra life into this near-dead horse that has served so well for so long. A lot of gamers out there are still running AGP systems and do not have the money to upgrade to PCI-Express just yet, or rather, do not yet see the complete value of a total system overhaul.
MSI has given said gamers an alternate method of upgrading without hurting their pocketbook too much. The NX7800GS is a high end AGP video card with the speed, qualities and features of its PCIe family. The results have been nothing short of impressive and this card is recommended without a doubt to any gamers out there still clinging to AGP and looking to upgrade one last time before making the PCIe plunge.