|Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 25 March 2008|
Page 9 of 18
Call of Duty 4 Benchmark Results
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare runs on a proprietary game engine that Infinity Ward based off of the tried-and-true Q3 structure. This engine offers features such as true world-dynamic lighting, HDR lighting effects, dynamic shadows and depth of field. "Bullet Penetration" is calculated by the Infinity Ward COD4 game engine, taking into account things such as surface type and entity thickness. Certain objects, such as cars, and some buildings are destructible. This makes distinguishing cover from concealment important, as the meager protection provided by things such as wooden fences and thin walls does not fully shield players from harm as it does in many other games released during the same time period. Bullet speed and stopping power are decreased after penetrating an object, and this decrease is calculated realistically depending on the thickness and surface of the object penetrated.
This version of the game also makes use of a dynamic physics engine, a feature which was not implemented in previous Call of Duty titles for Windows PC's. The new in-game death animations are a combination of pre-set static animations combined with ragdoll physics. Infinity Ward's use of the well-debugged Quake 3 engine along with new dynamic physics implementation allows Call of Duty 4 to be playable by a wide range of computer hardware systems. The performance may be scaled for low-end graphic cards up to 4x Anti-Aliasing and 16x Tri-linear anisotropic texture filtering.
Before I discuss the results, I would like to take a moment to mention my general opinion on Fraps software when it comes to game performance benchmarking. If you're not familiar with the software, Fraps (derived from Frames per second) is a benchmarking, screen capture, and real-time video capture utility for DirectX and OpenGL applications. Some reviewers use this software to measure video game performance on their Windows system, as well as record gaming footage. My opinion is that it offers a valid third-party non-bias alternative to in-game benchmarking tools; but there is one caviat: it's not perfect. Because the user must manually begin the test, the starting point may vary from position to position and therefore skew the results.
In my testing with Fraps v2.9.4 build 7039, I used the cut-scene intro to the coup d'etat scene when Al Asad take over control. First I allowed the level to load and let the scene begin for a few moments, then I would use the escape key to bring up the menu. Once I selected the restart level option, I would immediately press F11 to begin recording the benchmark data. This scene is nearly four minutes long, but I configured Fraps to record the first 180 seconds of it to remain consistent. Once the scene would end, I would repeat the restart process for a total of five tests. So within a 0.2 second starting point margin, all benchmark results are comparable which is probably as good as it can possibly get with this tool.
So now for the results of my hard work: just taking one look at the chart above an you can see that no other single graphics card can come close to offering the same level of performance as the Gigabyte GeForce 9800 GX2. Because our test sample 790i motherboard has not yet arrived here at Benchmark Reviews HQ, we optioned to test single-card products on the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 motherboard. In our frame rate results, all five of the collected test scores were within 0.75 FPS of one-another and averaged for the chart.
There has been a few questions raised in regards to the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB AMP! Edition video card performance compared to the 8800 GTX. We covered this comparison once, and like other web sites in the industry we found that a reference GT could come close to the performance of a mildly overclocked GTX in certain tests. But later when we reviewed the AMP! GT we found the results to be alarmingly close, while sometimes beating the GTX in others. So when we test the GX2 in Call of Duty 4 it doesn't really surprise us too much to see it outperforming the older GPU's with less brute force in its arsenal. In our next section, we shall see if the performance-demanding video game Crysis will help strengthen this position.