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OCZ Technologies Titan 3 GeForce3 Review
By: Mike Chambers - August 10, 2001

High Resolution Quake 3 Performance

Since the GeForce3 is positioned at the high-end of NVIDIA's graphics chipset offerings, testing was done at high resolutions, and contain successive settings each designed to enhance visual quality.

The enhancements include making use of maximum texture detail when available, anisotropic texture filtering, and features specific to the GeForce3. Screenshots have also been provided which illustrate these advanced settings.

For game performance tests, I used Quake 3, Serious Sam, DroneZ, 3DMark2001, and Flight Simulator 2000. Tests were run using 32-bit color with vsync disabled and a 75Hz refresh rate. Sound was also disabled with the exception of Flight Simulator 2000.

Quake 3 Arena remains one of my favorite games and although it's a couple of years old, the graphics continue to please. Comparing the difference in image quality between setting 1 and setting 5 below is like night and day. Looking at the textures, which are very detailed in setting 5, is the result of an advanced texture filtering method referred to as anisotropic filtering.

Quake 3 Screenshots - 1024x768

Setting 1 Setting 5
Click to Enlarge - 187KB Click to Enlarge - 228KB

With high geometry enabled in setting 5, curved surfaces are used on objects such as the opening to the next room. And with a keen eye, you may also be able to spot areas in the first setting where undesirable graphics anomalies appear when texture compression is enabled in Quake 3 on the GeForce.

The following table lists the various settings used to test Quake 3 performance. Each setting improves visual quality and they are also used in the antialiasing tests as well.

Quake 3 Version 1.17 Settings

  Settings
1 Standard High Quality Settings
2 Setting 1 with Max Texture Detail and High Geometry
3 Setting 2 with Texture Compression Disabled
4 Setting 3 with 16 Sample Anisotropic Filtering
5 Setting 3 with 32 Sample Anisotropic Filtering

Quake 3 Demo001 - 1024x768

Bases on these initial results, it's obvious that the Quake 3 graphics engine is responsive to the increased performance gained by overclocking the processor and memory speeds. Present and future games based on the Quake 3 engine should respond similarly.

When anisotropic texture filtering was enabled on the Titan 3 while running at its default clock speed of 215MHz/515MHz, frame rates increased by 8% when 16 samples were used in setting 4 and 9% when 32 samples were used in setting 5.

When the Titan 3 was running overclocked at a processor clock speed of 240MHz and memory speed of 560MHz, performance increased by 15% (98.9 to 114.0 fps) in setting 4 and 20% (78.8 to 94.3 fps) in setting 5.

Quake 3 Demo001 - 1280x1024

As the resolution increases, so do graphics processing and fill-rate requirements. With its higher default core and memory clock speeds, the Titan 3 provided a 10% increase in performance at setting 3 which consists of maximum quality settings and texture compression disabled.

With 16 sample anisotropic texture filtering enabled at a resolution of 1280x1024, the Titan 3 delivered an impressive 78 frames per second when overclocked to 240MHz/560MHz. That is a 21% increase in performance over the GeForce3 when running at default clock speeds.

As an interesting tidbit, I originally targeted the GeForce3 being able to reach 120 frames per second in Quake 3 at a resolution of 1280x1024. That comment was made back in December of 2000 and it looks like it may eventually happen.

Quake 3 Demo001 - 1600x1200

Those of you who play at the super high resolution of 1600x1200 will find a nice increase in frame rates as well - as much as 23% in some cases.

Next Page: Serious Sam, DroneZ, & 3DMark2001

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Last Updated on August 10, 2001

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