|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Fermi Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 26 March 2010|
Page 8 of 19
BattleForge is free Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) developed by EA Phenomic with DirectX-11 graphics capability. Combining strategic cooperative battles, the community of MMO games, and trading card gameplay, BattleForge players are free to put their creatures, spells and buildings into combination's they see fit. These units are represented in the form of digital cards from which you build your own unique army. With minimal resources and a custom tech tree to manage, the gameplay is unbelievably accessible and action-packed.
Benchmark Reviews uses the built-in graphics benchmark to measure performance in BattleForge, using Very High quality settings (detail) and 8x anti-aliasing with auto multi-threading enabled. BattleForge is one of the first titles to take advantage of DirectX-11 in Windows 7, and offers a very robust color range throughout the busy battleground landscape. The first chart illustrates how performance measures-up between video cards when Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) is disabled, which runs tests at DirectX-10 levels.
When Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) is disabled, past-generation NVIDIA GeForce and ATI Radeon products are compared on a more even playing field (so long as you discredit the fact that we have a few DirectX-10 cards in the mix, and that BattleForge is a DirectX-11 game). These tests illustrate how well new DX11-compliant video cards improve upon previously-popular DX10 graphics solutions.
Looking at performance using 1920x1200 resolution, the ATI Radeon HD5890 is slightly ahead of the GeForce GTX275, and the Radeon HD5850 is ahead of the overclocked ASUS GeForce GTX 285 TOP. The Radeon HD 5870 is a few FPS ahead of the GeForce GTX295 dual-GT200 video card. NVIDIA's Fermi-based GeForce GTX480 delivers better graphics performance than every other video card on the planet, and the 82.5 FPS outperforms the dual-GPU ATI Radeon HD5970 by 18% at 1920x1200 or 20% at 1680x1050.
The next chart (below) illustrates how BattleForge reacts when SSAO is enabled, which forces multi-core optimizations that DirectX-11-compatible video cards are best suited to handle:
As should expected, the DirectX-11-compatible ATI 5000 reveals an immediate advantage over all previous-generation NVIDIA GeForce products. SSAO isn't a technology that DX10 GeForce products can handle very well, yet the older ATI Radeon products seem to work well enough with the new strain of DX11. If gaming is the primary purpose for a discrete graphics card, then you'll want to consider that nearly all new video games coming to market will be developed with SSAO and other DirectX-11 extensions. These features make it difficult (and sometimes impossible) to enjoy the game on non-compliant graphics hardware.
In respect to EA's BattleForge, a reference-clocked ATI Radeon HD4890 is able to outperform the GeForce GTX275, and overclocked ASUS GeForce GTX285 TOP, and nearly match the GeForce GTX295. This indicates that Windows 7 will re-center the definition of 'mainstream' graphics products. What was top shelf in Windows XP will soon become the low end with DirectX-11 in Windows 7 or Vista. For gamers who plan to use Windows 7, and especially those who play BattleForge, the Radeon HD 5850 offered excellent performance, as did the HD5970 and dual-GPU Radeon HD5970, but it was the NVIDIA GeForce GTX480 that deserves total respect.
Test Summary: With an unbiased appetite for raw DirectX-11 graphics performance, BattleForge appears to be ambiguous towards ATI and NVIDIA products. When high-strain SSAO is called into action, NVIDIA's GTX480 demonstrates how well Fermi is suited for DX11... improving upon the GeForce GTX285 by nearly 249%. While trumping ATI's best single-GPU Radeon HD5870 by 61% is an impressive feat all by itself, outperforming a dual-GPU Radeon HD5970 by 11% is incredible by definition.