GeForce FX 5700 Ultra & 5950 Ultra Review

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Page 13 -Splinter Cell

Splinter CellNew in our Benchmark suite is the very popular game Splinter Cell. Making a believable world for a spy to play in is quite a daunting taimageview.php?image=591sk, but the levels are varied, filled with appropriate objects, and designed so that you usually dont have to choose between too many paths. It wouldve been great if you couldve had several points of entrance and that way get a lot more replay-value. Sam and the rest of the characters do look terrific, with high polygon models and both crisp and appropriate looking textures. What really separates Splinter Cell from most recent action games is the use of shadows. Splinter Cell uses the Unreal engine, which weve seen in several great looking games the past months, but UbiSoft also added improved lighting. By using real-time cast shadows, lightmaps, etc, this title gives you some of the best looking shadows to date.

In response to the growing use of sophisticated digital encryption to conceal potential threats to the national security of the United States, the NSA (National Security Agency) has ushered forth a new dawn of intelligence-gathering techniques. This top-secret initiative is dubbed Third Echelon. Denied to exist by the U.S. government, Third Echelon deploys elite intelligence-gathering units consisting of a lone field operative supported by a remote team. Like a sliver of glass, a Splinter Cell is small, sharp, and nearly invisible.

You have the right to spy, steal, destroy and assassinate, to ensure that American freedoms are protected. If captured, the U.S. government will disavow any knowledge of your existence.

You are Sam Fisher.

You are a Splinter Cell.

Splinter Cell has two shadowing techniques, Projector and Buffer mode. We force Projector mode in high detail on all graphics cards. Again, graphics cards without shader capabilities will run into a problem as they do not support it. We are talking about GeForce4 MX and earlier models only. With that in mind this software really is an excellent benchmark. Small sidenote, we are not using the standard timedemo's. We made one ourselves that stresses the filtrate of a graphics card and will utilize a CPU very little.

Let's take a look at some of the benchmark numbers. Unlike some of the future games Splinter Cell doesnt use per-pixel lighting, so the framerate should be quite good even for owners of mid-end PCs.


Splinter Cell 1.2b 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
FX 5600 22 19 15 12
9600 256 23 15 16 13
9600 Pro 32 28 22 18
FX 5700 Ultra 33 28 23 18
9700 Pro 45 40 32 27
FX 5900 47 40 32 26
FX 5900 Ultra 53 45 36 30
9800 Pro HIS 50 45 35 31
FX 5950 Ultra 54 46 37 31

First of let me explain the names, we left out the brand names Radeon & GeForce to save a little space. The second entry in the chart states 9600 256, this means that the product was a Radeon 9600 with 256 MB memory.

All results are done with the help of a Pentium 4 2.8 C class (800 MHz FSB) CPU with the help of 400 MHz Dual channel DDR memory (review here). The results are looking very promising for the 5700, as you can see it got a nice performance bump over the 5600. As expected the FX 5950 leads the chart. Splinter Cell is a DirectX 8/9 title and can handle Pixel Shaders if your card supports it. The downside of this nice piece of software is that it has different modes for different classes of hardware. We designed a configuration that is nearly the same for all graphics cards

As explained in the first page of this review, ATI Europe has a sample problems so you do not see any results with the new XT model (yet).

We left out the results for Anti Aliasing in this particular benchmark. The lighting model causes odd visible rendering errors within AA and reproduces odd results. Ubisoft posted and confirmed this on their website.


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