NVIDIA 3-way SLI review 3x XFX 8800 Ultra -
Page 7 - 3Dmark06 & S.t.a.l.k.e.r.
Synthetic benchmarking: 3DMark 05 & 06 Business Edition
Literally millions and millions of benchmark results have been submitted to Futuremarks Online ResultBrowser database. It has become a point of great prestige to be the holder of the highest 3DMark score. A compelling, easy-to-use interface has made 3DMark very popular among game enthusiasts. Futuremarks latest benchmark series, 3DMark03 up-to 3DMark06, continues this tradition by providing a Microsoft DirectX 9 benchmark.
The introduction of DirectX 9 and new hardware shader technologies puts a lot of power in the hands of game developers. Increasingly realistic 3D games will be available over the next year and a half. The use of 3D graphics will become more accessible to other applications areas and even operating systems.
The 3DMark06 score was downright bad though. This is due to the fact that there's much more driver overhead for the processor and we all know how well 3DMark06 loves the silly old CPU. The fact that I did not use a quad-core didn't help either ... 13371 points.
But, look at the blue bar. 12509 points, the trick with that one is that i took the benchmark to an all new high 2560x1600 resolution. I mean that's just amazing really.
Gaming: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl
Shortly after another disaster in Chernobyl, the authorities surround the area with the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Guard, and they begin to hear weird screams and rumblings coming from within. After a while though, most of them are returned to earlier posts. Curiosity gets the better of some people, so they sneak into the 30-kilometer area to do some good old-fashioned investigating. These people are called Stalkers, and they report back to the authorities with their findings.
The 3D engine shines in a few key areas, all crucial in shaping the game's atmosphere. It's got a huge draw distance, which leads to the palpable feeling that this is a big world. Lighting and shadowing are its other big strengths. For this benchmark we have the in-game settings at maximum (AA/AF enabled), Dynamic lighting was disabled as this feature is really for next-gen graphics cards performance wise.
Image Quality setting:
- In-game Software Anti Aliasing enabled
- 16x anisotropic filtering
- Dynamic lighting disabled
As stated we went for the games maximum quality settings, yet with static lighting. This will give us a very good overall framerate. IQ settings wise this is what 98% of you will be using. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. does not support hardware anti-aliasing, yet uses a software applied method which is enabled.
Stalker is to be considered a slowly aging game, the way we have setup the IQ isn't helping either as the game is very CPU dependant with static lighting. In future review we are moving towards dynamic lighting though. In a follow-up 3-way SLI review we'll move to that settings after which the three cards will be utilized way better.
If you had a close look at the 8800 GTX & Ultra, you'd notice there's a second SLI finger (connector) and to date there has been a lot of speculation about that extra connector, to name one .. it could have been an extension for physics over a third card. The truth is often to be found in the most simple and logical solution, it was all about SLI from the get go. If you have one of these rather expensive cards you can now link up three cards and enable 3-way SLI.