|ZOTAC GeForce GTX 280 AMP! Edition Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 30 June 2008|
Page 14 of 19
Unreal Tournament 3
Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3) is a first-person shooter and online multiplayer video game by Epic Games and is the next installment of the Unreal series after Unreal Tournament 2004. It is published by Midway Games and was released in North America for Windows on November 19, 2007.
Unreal Tournament 3 is actually the fourth game in the Unreal Tournament series and the eighth Unreal game, but it has been numbered in terms of the engine it runs on. UT3 is subsequently part of the third generation, because it runs on the Unreal Engine 3, and does not reuse any content from previous versions.
Since Unreal Tournament 3 was designed as a DirectX 9 video game with no current support expected for DirectX 10, we use Windows XP Pro (Service Pack 3) for our benchmark testing.
Beginning with the entry-level resolution of 1024x768, the benchmark scores are so close for some products that it might be time to eliminate this setting from our testing process. Nevertheless, it looks like the Unreal Engine 3 game engine doesn't care too much for the ATI Radeon HD 4850 video card, since the CrossFireX set was just barely able to keep pace with the others. Even with High Quality settings with all of the tweaks, and 16x anisotropic filtering enabled, Unreal Tournament 3 doesn't seem to strain the graphics card enough to create a noticeable difference in benchmark scores.
Tested at 1280x1024, the resolution is just beginning to create any real load on our test products. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 280 AMP! Edition loses just a single frame per second (0.6%), and the Sapphire Radeon drops only 6% followed by the GeForce 9800 GTX at 5%. As the resolution increases, these scores should begin to separate more effectively. However, for now it appears that just about any graphics card can play Unreal Tournament 3 without issue.
When I tested the Honeywell HWLM2216 recently, I noticed how the 1680x1050 widescreen display resolution of this 22" LCD monitor offered very little strain over a 19" standard display LCD monitor. Comparatively, 1680x1050 produces 1.76 MP and 1280x1024 produces 1.31, so there's only a very small difference expected between performance levels. The biggest difference is in the user experience, because the widescreen monitor comes in very handy for watching multimedia video or playing large world-scape video games.
At 1680x1050 resolution, the differences are beginning to show, but I am getting the impression that only 1920x1200 will be useful for illustrating how each product performs. Although it's all still a tight race, the ZOTAC GTX 280 leads with 160 average frames per minutes, and the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 trails behind the pack with 107 FPS. The GeForce 9800 GTX leads the HD 4850 by 16%, but the CrossFireX set of 4850's fights back with a 13% lead.
Finally arriving at 2.3 MP with a 1920x1280 resolution on our 26" SOYO DYLM26E6 test monitor, we can begin to see how the playing field has leveled out. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 still trails behind the GeForce 9800 GTX by 6%, but put another 4850 together for a CrossFireX set and they lead by 28%. The GeForce 9800 GX2 puts both G92 graphics processors to good use, and beats both the CrossFireX 4850's (by 16%) and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 engineering sample (by only 4%). When everything was said and done, the overclocked ZOTAC GTX 280 AMP! Edition video card pulled off a very narrow victory.
Our last benchmark of the article is coming next, which puts our collection of video cards against some very demanding graphics.