Quake 3 is the de facto 3D game benchmark here at Sharky Extreme, and due to its highly repeatable results, it is still one of the most popular methods of comparing different video cards. In this test suite we match up the video cards using version 1.30 and the included demo Four. Quake 3 benchmarks were run with the default High Quality video options and the in-game detail levels ramped to maximum in our MAX setting.
Quake 3 gives us an old-school point of reference for these hotrod 3D video cards, and hearkens back to an age where pure horsepower ruled the world. ATI has historically taken a backseat to NVIDIA in this game, and even with updated drivers, we're not seeing that coming to an end. The ATI AiW Radeon X800 XT posts very impressive numbers, right on par with the standard Radeon X800 XT, but still fails to match the GeForce 6800 GT or Ultra 256-MB cards.
When we upgrade to the higher detail settings of 4X AA and 8X AF, there is no real change in the overall card rankings. We still have the AiW Radeon X800 XT and Radeon X800 XT boards posting equivalent scores, and the GeForce 6800 GT and Ultra taking the overall performance crown.
Unreal Tournament 2003 includes a benchmark program that automatically tests in two separate modes. The one we're going to be looking at is Flyby, which takes a canned tour of the UT game world and then offers up a framerate score and really hammers both the system and video card. The UT 2003 Botmatch results are no longer shown, instead leaving that for the newer Unreal Tournament 2004 to supply.
The Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby benchmarking is a much closer race than we found in Quake 3, and the Radeon X800-based cards show a bit more jump. The AiW Radeon X800 XT once again matches the standard Radeon X800 XT card frame-for-frame, and even manages to stay ahead of both the GeForce 6800 GT and Ultra boards.
When we move up to 4X AA and 8X AF detail settings, the framerates may drop, but the overall rankings stay the same. It's still the AiW Radeon X800 XT with a slight lead over the two GeForce 6800-based graphics boards, and the higher-clocked Radeon X800 XT Platinum with the highest score of the bunch.