Lost Planet Performance
Since we are evaluating a DirectX 10 video card, the use of Windows Vista is a definite requirement, but we also need some updated DirectX 10 game benchmarks as well. One of the best is the Lost Planet performance test, which comes in both DirectX 9 and 10 flavors, which allow across-the-board comparisons against last-generation graphics cards. The benchmark is also extremely tough on the hardware, and the resultant scores can be quite hard on the mainstream graphics cards, showing unplayable framerates in many cases. Since this is a high-end DirectX 9/10 game benchmark, we've utilized widescreen resolutions from the start, choosing 1600x1000 and 1920x1200.
To say that Lost Planet is a demanding game benchmark would be the understatement of the year, as you can almost hear the system grinding as it completes the testing. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to reward our PNY XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB card or its NVIDIA SLI architecture. The PNY card's overall performance is still excellent, but it doesn't show that same massive performance gap we found in other benchmarks.
Lost Planet AA and AF Performance
Upgrading the Lost Planet benchmark to 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering may add to the overall stress level, but it still doesn't give enough juice for the PNY card to excel. We even fooled around with the in-game, multi-GPU settings, and there was only a nominal advantage to having it enabled.
Supreme Commander Performance
Supreme Commander is a high-end real-time strategy game, similar to a next-gen Total Annihilation, which combines killer graphics with top-level AI. The in-game visuals are incredible, and when there are multiple armored mechs in the same area, it can take a real toll on even high-end system configurations. This makes it a great benchmark for our high-end graphic cards, and while the in-game benchmarking program offers several different performance ratings, but for this market segment, we prefer the overall FPS score.
Supreme Commander gets us back on track, and the in-game benchmarking shows the PNY XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB easily outpacing the competition at both resolutions.
Supreme Commander AA and AF Widescreen Performance
The performance advantage continues at the widescreen resolutions + anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing settings, and the XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 again holds court over the other ATI and NVIDIA cards.