The Comanche 4 benchmark from Novalogic gives us an opportunity to use an actual flight sim for 3D video testing. This is a different game engine that we've ever used before, so don't be put off by the relatively low framerates. Just like the high fps of Quake 3, a card's relative position is the most important factor. These tests were run in both 16 and 32-bit modes, with sound disabled.
What a change a benchmark can bring. With Comanche 4 16-bit testing, the Optimus 8500 eXP finds itself near the bottom of the heap, with its performance at lower resolutions being closer to a GeForce3 Ti 500. Once we move to 1280x1024 and above, the Optimus 8500 eXP does move ahead of the GeForce3, but still falls short of both GeForce4 Ti 4200 cards.
At 32-bit detail, the Optimus 8500 eXP is still well back at the lower resolutions, but the margin starts to shrink when we move higher. In fact, it beats out the GeForce4 Ti 4200 64-MB card at 1600x1200 and puts in a much better showing overall.
Jedi Knight is the newest Quake 3-based game and some would say it is the among the most resource hungry. It has also been responsible for a great many video card upgrades, and gives us with another excellent way of measuring high-end 3D gaming performance. In this particular instance, the video cards have been tested using standard Normal and High Quality detail settings.
Jedi Knight II scores at lower resolutions tend to be bunched up, but even at 1024x768, we start to see the men separated from the boys. The Optimus 8500 eXP displays very consistent results through the benchmarking and actually finished as the fastest Jedi Knight II card in Normal testing, even ahead of the GeForce4 Ti 4600.
Jedi Knight II High Quality scores may go down, but the comparative position of the Optimus 8500 eXP stays the same. The race here is a bit tighter, but the addition of a 300 MHz core pushes the Optimus 8500 eXP ahead of the Radeon 8500 128-MB and the GeForce4 Ti 4600. The comparison to the GeForce4 Ti 4200 shows the Optimus 8500 eXP with a very healthy lead, which is also borne out when playing Jedi Knight II at higher resolutions.
MadOnion's 3DMark 2001SE Pro is a popular 3D benchmark tool, and one that many gamers use to compare performance results. All benchmark testing was performed in 32-bit mode, and used pure hardware T&L/DirectX support.
The 3DMark 2001SE scores are about where we expected them to be, just above a Radeon 8500 128-MB but still not up to the GeForce4 Ti 4600 or 4400. The GeForce4 Ti 4200 comparison is much better, as the Optimus 8500 eXP starts out a bit slow at 800x600, but speeds ahead at the higher resolutions. This is also about where we would also place it in an overall ranking, as although there were a few benchmarks that favored the Radeon 8500 boards, the Optimus 8500 eXP had an overall performance level of somewhere between a GeForce4 Ti 4200 and 4400.