Quake 3: Arena may be getting a little old when it comes to gaming benchmarks, but due to its highly repeatable results and incredible performance scaling, the game is still a very popular method of comparing different video cards. In this test suite we match up the video cards using version 1.30 and the included demo Four. In both standard and AA/AF modes, 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: Arena may not be the newest game benchmark, but that is the key to why we still include it. Many people still play older games, and it is important to see exactly how new video cards react to old school 3D gaming, when pixel processing was more important than supporting the latest SM 3.0 features. The Biostar GeForce 7900 GT displays exceptional "old school" performance levels, and just squeezes by the GeForce 7800 GTX to take the top spot at both resolutions. It is always nice to see these latest hotrod cards perform as well in older games, as they do with the latest SM 3.0 software.
The higher-end 4X AA and 8X AF detail settings help show off the high-end performance of the GeForce 7900 GT even more, and the Biostar card only extends its performance lead. Now, instead of just squeezing by the GeForce 7800 GTX, it builds up a noticeable lead.
Halo: Combat Evolved is a hot, action adventure game that not only features luscious indoor and outdoor graphics and a killer story, but some very innovative gameplay as well. Our Halo test uses the default timedemo, while also enabling 2.0 shaders for all benchmark testing.
The Halo benchmark brings us closer to the latest 3D features and utilizes 2.0 shaders. The Biostar GeForce 7900 GT once again posts the highest overall scores at 1280x1024 and 1600x1200, but with only a slight advantage compared to the GeForce 7800 GTX.
When we bring 4X AA and 8X AF modes into play, the overall rankings do not change, but we do see the Biostar GeForce 7900 GT sitting in it usual position at the top of the chart, just ahead of the GeForce 7800 GTX.