For comparison purposes a Radeon X800 XT is also included to allow an analysis of how each title in the test suite is or isn’t affected by the significant performance differences of the two boards. And with this in mind, testing was conducted with in-game settings configured at higher, more demanding levels.
Lock On: Modern Air Combat was tested using the MiG-29 Intercept demo. In-game settings were at their highest options, except for several features such as water and heat bltr which were set to low and turned off. The demo was run for three minutes.
With LOMAC’s graphics set at high the game is obviously unplayable at any of the resolutions, with the frame rate falling to roughly a third of what the X800 XT scored. Fans of this particular title shopping for a new graphics card at this price point will have to either spend more money or dial quite a number of the in-game options down a few notches.
Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2004 was tested using SimHQ’s in-house dusk flight over the city of Hong Kong, with an external camera view set behind the plane. Frame rate recording is stopped once the plane lands. MS: 2004 was configured with ultra high settings across its four hardware panels.
The X700 XT scaled well with the resolution changes and remained surprisingly playable at even 1600×1200, with the frame rate staying close to two-thirds that of the faster card.
IL-2: Forgotten Battles – Aces Expansion Pack represents SimHQ’s non-modern flight simulation test. Using OpenGL, the landscape option was set to perfect and all other graphics options were at their highest settings. Testing consisted of using the Black Death track. SimHQ plans to incorporate the latest IL-2 release, Pacific Fighters, into our benchmark suite in the near future.
IL-2:FB-AEP is another title that turns in respectable scores while running on this mainstream board, though the lower fill-rate of the X700 board takes its toll at the higher resolutions, showing a sharper frame rate drop than the X800 displayed. The game, however, might still be playable for some even at the highest resolution tested.