DOOM 3 Performance
DOOM 3 is a game that needs no introduction, and continues in a long line of id Software Quake and DOOM first-person shooters. This latest installment is one serious 3D game test, including some of the highest-end graphics yet seen on the PC. It is also a different type of game benchmark, especially compared to Quake 3, and it has an almost total reliance on the 3D video card for high-end framerate results. This limits its use in certain system or CPU testing, but makes DOOM 3 a very good 3D video card benchmark.
DOOM 3 is more of an old school graphics benchmark these days, and this is obvious in some of the results. The Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB does perform better than the Radeon X1650 XT 256MB, but still falls behind the GeForce 7600 GT 256MB card. This is to be expected, especially for a newer product that is tuned for DirectX 10, but it will be interesting to see how the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate fares when we go widescreen and ratchet up the anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing detail settings.
DOOM 3 AA and AF Widescreen Performance
We do see some noted improvements, and the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB now displays performance superior to the GeForce 7600 GT. The Sapphire card remains well back of the GeForce 8600 GTS and the two last-gen GeForce 7900 GS and Radeon X1950 Pro cards.
Quake 4 Performance
Quake 4 is a 3D first-person shooter from id Software and Raven, and while the actual storyline is pretty standard fare and the game itself is based on the DOOM 3 engine, the graphics are exceptional and it is an improvement over previous games. The lighting and shadow effects are excellent, and the overall level design and architecture are a real treat. The overall load on the graphics card can be extreme, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the actual hardware you are testing. For this review, we've updated to the latest patch, and use a custom netdemo for testing.
The initial Quake 4 results are similar to those of DOOM 3, with the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB posting good scores for its class, but still failing to outpace the GeForce 7600 GT 256MB.
Quake 4 AA and AF Widescreen Performance
Surprisingly, it's much the same story under the higher-detail/higher-resolution benchmarking, where the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB does manage to make up some distance on the GeForce 7600 GT, but just not enough.