|MSI N560GTX-Ti GeForce Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Sunday, 30 January 2011|
Page 16 of 19
Unigine Heaven 2.1 Benchmark Results
The Unigine "Heaven 2.1" benchmark is a free, publicly available, tool that grants the power to unleash the graphics capabilities in DirectX 11 for Windows 7 or updated Vista Operating Systems. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode, emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.
The distinguishing feature in the Unigine Heaven benchmark is a hardware tessellation that is a scalable technology aimed for automatic subdivision of polygons into smaller and finer pieces, so that developers can gain a more detailed look of their games almost free of charge in terms of performance. Thanks to this procedure, the elaboration of the rendered image finally approaches the boundary of veridical visual perception. The "Heaven" benchmark excels at the following key features:
Starting off with a lighter load of 4x MSAA, we see the Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC taking the single GPU crown, but not by a large margin over the GTX 560Ti. Even in the "normal" tessellation mode, this is a graphics test that really shows off the full impact of this DirectX 11 technology. The Fermi architecture has so much more computing power designated and available for tessellation, that it's no small surprise to see both of these cards doing so well here. The HD 6870, even with its revamped tessellation engine, has to hang out with the GTX 460 crowd, plus the older HD 5870. I'm amazed that the HD 6870 performs as well as it does with only the same number of shaders as the Radeon HD 5830; that card used to die a slow death in this benchmark. There is no jerkiness to the display with either the GTX 560Ti or the GTX 480 at this resolution; now that I've seen the landscape go by for a couple hundred times, I can spot the small stutters pretty easily. This test was run with 4x anti-aliasing; let's see how the cards stack up when we increase MSAA to the maximum level of 8x.
Increasing the anti-aliasing leveled out the playing field just a bit, with the exception of the GTX 460 with 768 MB of memory; it pretty much crashed in this test. There's no denying that the Fermi chip, in all its versions, is a killer when called upon for tessellation duty. The poor results for the GTX 460/768 are strictly due to the memory limitations of that card, not the GPU. Besides the most obvious trend of the GTX 560Ti grabbing pride of place for price v. performance more often than not, the other thing I've noticed is a consistent improvement by the GTX 480 when the going gets tough.
In our next section, we investigate the thermal performance of the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OCock Video Card, and see how well this upgraded cooler works on the brand new GF114 Fermi GPU.