We begin with Far Cry, Crytek’s FPS, whose originality is to support a wide range of graphic functionalities, such as Pixel Shader 2b and 3, or even High Dynamic Range, even if it is quite disproportionate in some areas.
Far Cry HDR requires the appropriate equipment
In terms of performance with standard adjustments the 7800 GTX results are 29.5% and 14% higher than the 6800 Ultra and X850 XT. In SLI mode, NVIDIA graphic cards are simply restricted by the CPU ´s transfer rate per second even if it´s the best on the market. It would be foolish not to increase graphic options!
In AA4x and Aniso 8X, the 7800 GTX performances are up to 36.7% higher than its predecessor. With the resolution and adjustment improvements we noticed the X850 XT PE´s excellent performance, which comes closer to the new NVIDIA chips. Here we only see that the 7800 GTX SLI gives the possibility to play in the same resolution as a 7800 GTX with equivalent framerate but with the AA 4x and Aniso 8x activated (even the 1920*1200 4x/8x starts to be a bit of a problem for the 7800 GTX SLI).
In HDR, the 7800 GTX is up to 44% higher than the 6800 Ultra. The SLI doesn’t bring any performance gains, so it is best to have one 7800 GTX rather than two 6800 Ultras. HDR activation reduced performances less for the 7800 than for the 6800, proof that some optimisations were made.
Splinter Cell 3
The last opus of the Splinter Cell series has a Shader Model 1.1 and Shader Model 3.0 mode in its graphic options. In this latter mode it´s possible to play with the same graphic quality as in 1.1 with a slight performance gain (5% approximately), and also to activate additional options such as HDR, Parrallax mapping, Tone mapping and Soft shadows. We initially used the SM 1.1 mode for ATI and the SM 3 « basic » mode for NVIDIA followed by SM3 with full options. For an undetermined reason the game was bugged with a GeForce 6800 Ultra 512 MB with a single card but not with two. A driver problem?
Initially, when comparing the 7800 GTX to the 6800 Ultra the gains varied from 40 to 50%. Here is an ideal case accentuated in SLI as very good performance gains were obtained with the second graphic card. With AA 4x et Aniso 8x, the performance difference of the 6800U to the 7800GTX is up to 39% and in HDR it´s even 55% in 1920*1200. This isn’t a common resolution, but it will please 24” LCD monitor users. They will have to purchase an SLI configuration to activate all options in games like this one. Like with Far Cry, HDR activation reduced the 7800´s performances less than the 6800´s.