Daytona GeForce FX5200 Ultra Review Page 3 of 5
By Jonathan Martini - September 18, 2003
Splinter Cell Benchmark Results
Splinter Cell is a very slow-paced game which places a great emphasis on
slowly sneaking around in the dark. As such, when running the timedemo, I
elected to keep the Shadow Level setting at high, as Splinter Cell wouldn't be
the same game without the sweet and important shadow effects. Shadow Mode was
left at the Buffer setting, which is the default setting for the GeForce class
of cards and is the recommended setting by Ubisoft. The settings I modified for
the various tests are the Shadow Resolution and Effects Quality settings. The
Shadow Resolution setting was set at High for the first two rounds of testing
then lowered to Medium for the last maps. The Effects Quality setting varied
from Very High to Medium.
Since Splinter Cell's focus is slow and quiet spying over the all-out-action
we're accustomed to seeing in the first person shooter genre, the game's
performance is considered playable at much lower FPS than is typically
considered acceptable for smooth performance when playing first-person shooters.
The first three maps have similar performance results which allows the game to
be smooth in most circumstances at 800x600 with the High/Very High settings for
Shadow Resolution and Effects Quality. The Beyond3D Caspian Oil demo takes it's
toll on the card as the level truly stresses the pixel shader paths of the card.
Tron 2.0 Demo - High Detail
Tron 2.0 Demo - Medium Detail
Tron 2.0 Demo Benchmark Results
The first of the games covered using FRAPS to measure the in-game performance
is the Tron 2.0 Demo. A very cool little game with an extremely unique art
concept wherein the characters and levels are composed solely of various shades
of black and illuminescent borders. The High Detail picture above displays how
truly illuminescent the borders can be. The overall effects is extremely cool
and brings much more to the setting of the game than the rather drab textures in
the Medium Detail setting. I wouldn't even consider playing the game at any
setting other than the High Detail setting. Doing so wouldn't do justice to the
game and all the cool glowing effects provided by the Lithtech engine.
Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII Demo
Being one of the most popular online games at the moment, performance numbers
from Battlefield 1942 couldn't be overlooked. I tested the recent Secret Weapons
of WWII demo as I've been hooked on it since it was released a few weeks ago.
Testing the performance was a tad different than other games where I'd just let
FRAPS count the frames and post the average. There's a couple reasons for this:
1 - The performance of the game when waiting to spawn was a tad different than
in-game performance 2 - I was waiting to respawn quite often. ;) Therefore I
would activate FRAPS' framerate logging system when I would respawn, try to do
some damage and then deactivate it the moment I would be killed. After about an
hour of playing I had a huge list of scores with the average framerate being
right up around 50 FPS at 800x600. Very acceptable performance for a relatively
low-priced card in a game that was reputed to be resource heavy at launch.
F1 Challenge '99-'02
F1 Challenge '99 - '02 is a fairly uncommon game to be included in the
review. I burned so much time into this game, that neglecting all that would be
quite a waste (not to mention featuring a racing game is a nice change of pace
from all the first person shooters so dominant in video card reviews). I'm a
great high-speed driver, as such my favourite tracks are Austria's A1-Ring and
Italy's Monza circuit. Performance between tracks tend to stay fairly similar
hovering around 60 FPS on a nice clean track with a few cars in close proximity.
The graphic settings for the test was set at Full, which maxes out all the
settings such as viewing distance, car detail, shadows, mirror reflections etc.
The overall gaming performance of the GeForce FX 5200 Ultra surprised me as I
wasn't expecting much out of such a low-priced card. While you can't expect to
crank every setting to its highest level or enable anything beyond 2X FSAA in
every game and still get acceptable performance at resolutions above 1024x768,
most gamers looking for a card in this price range couldn't be asking for much