PNY XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB Review
By Vince Freeman :
June 17, 2008
FarCry is a first-person shooter that took in-game graphics to the next level, although in a different direction than DOOM 3 or Quake 4. Instead of darkness and confined spaces, FarCry can place you outdoors, on bright sandy beaches, jungles or even on the water itself. This game gives our video cards a different kind of a stress test, and rest assured that FarCry ranks up there with the very toughest 3D game benchmarks. FarCry is an interesting benchmark, as it combines old school performance requirements with hot new features such as support for SM 3.0. For this test, we are using the full retail version updated to version 1.4, along with a custom demo file.
The updated patches enable SM3.0 support for FarCry, and this makes it another good test of gaming feature sets and performance. FarCry is a game that many newer DirectX 10 video cards have trouble with, especially on the ATI side, but the PNY XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB seems to handle it easily. The PNY card posts the top scores at both resolutions, but it certainly doesn't enjoy a huge performance advantage at the standard detail settings.
FarCry AA and AF Widescreen Performance
After we upgrade to the more demanding widescreen resolutions with 4X AA and 16X AF settings, the XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 starts to break away from the pack, and easily outpaces the competition, especially at 1920x1200.
Quake 4 Performance
Quake 4 is another old school benchmark, a 3D first-person shooter from id Software and Raven. While the actual storyline is standard fare and the game itself is based on the DOOM 3 engine, the graphics are exceptional and it is an improvement over previous editions. The lighting and shadow effects are excellent, and the overall level design and architecture are a real treat. Coupled with our demanding timedemo, the overall graphics card load can be extreme, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the actual hardware you are testing.
The initial Quake 4 benchmarking doesn't show the PNY XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB in the best light, but that is to be expected with some older games, especially when using lower resolutions and standard details.
Quake 4 AA and AF Widescreen Performance
The higher-resolution/4X AA-16X AF performance scores show the XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB power out to a noticeable lead, and the gap only increases with the jump in resolution.