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Nvidia GeForce 2 Ultra Preview (Page 4 of 5)

Posted: August 14, 2000
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

Benchmarks: GeForce 2 vs. GeForce 2 Ultra (cont.)

OpenGL Performance(2): Quake 3 Arena @ Normal Quality

Quake 3 Arena is the standard for testing OpenGL performance these days, so we decided to watch the GeForce 2 Ultra beat the pulp out of it. The initial setting was to set the quality in the system option to "Normal" and then change the resolution and color depth to their respective settings. In this test, 16-bit color with 16-bit textures was used, at 1024x768 and 1600x1200. 1600x1200 was used because it's basically the highest playable resolution that is supported by a wide range of games, and 1024x768 was used for lower-end systems. There is no logical reason (from a gamer's standpoint) to test this card (or any current card) with anything lower because the frame rates are so high that it doesn't prove a thing! -- that had to be said. Here's the benchmark graph/chart:

As you can see, the difference at 16-bit color is only significant at 1600x1200. But even the GeForce 2 runs this resolution with basically no slowdowns. Still, it's interesting to see how much faster the GeForce 2 Ultra is at this less-intensive test (less than high quality, that is). Bragging rights? Indeed.

OpenGL Performance(3): Quake 3 Arena @ High Quality

When Quake 3 first came out, it seemed like the high quality tests were a waste of time because on most systems they were very intensive, and rarely did a system reach an acceptable frame rate. I think Nvidia used the Quake 3 1600x1200x32bpp test to develop the Detonator 3s and the GeForce 2 Ultra; because together, they scream. Here's the graph:

The performance increase in 1024x768 wasn't too great, but the 1600x1200 benchmark was obviously much better. A 46% performance increase over the GeForce 2 GTS was seen -- and this was with the new drivers. With the 5.33 drivers, the GeForce 2 GTS scored only 27.8 FPS on my system. Yes, Nvidia did double the performance of the GeForce 2 GTS if you look at it in a certain perspective. Remembers folks, this card is geared toward gamers, and it sure shows it.

OpenGL Performance(4): Quake 3 Arena @ High Quality w/ FSAA

I had problems with FSAA up until the last minutes before I realized I had better start writing this preview, so I only had time to grab a couple quick benchmarks.

1600x1200x32bpp with 2x2 FSAA will automatically disable FSAA (I'm guessing because the 64 MB framebuffer is not adequate for such high settings). The frame rate is fair with 1.5x1.5 FSAA enabled, but 2x2 requires 800x600 or lower (on this system) before it runs smoothly.

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