Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
The latest instalment in the Quake franchise, and there's a handy-dandy benchmark suite produced by HOCBench which I've used to test framerates during a flyover of the Quarry outdoor level, which includes a bit of a firefight going on both on the ground and in the air.
Well it certainly seems that Crossfire performance has been improved since our last review, with huge gains coming from the two cards - except when it comes to 16xAA performance which is exactly the same as the single card. Baffling. Still, the ATI cards come out on top overall.
Unreal Tournament 3
Another great online shooter using the latest Unreal graphics engine, which is utterly beautiful to look at. I've maxed out all the settings again and benched framerates for a flyover of the outdoor Torlan arena. In case you're wondering - you can only enable AA in this game by running it in DX10 mode and forcing AA levels in your driver settings.
A narrow victory by the more expensive nVidia cards on this one. I prefer a very high framerate for twitch shooters like this so I wouldn't be enabling AA if I were you unless you can get a consistent 60 FPS or more, which only the top two solutions here managed. All other cards seemed to manage that without AA on, even the older 3850.
Call of Juarez
An interesting story-driven game set in the old west. Great DX10 graphics and a downloadable benchmark is available to test your rig's performance.
The developers of this game were pretty much in cahoots with ATI when it came to designing the graphics so all you nVidia fanboys can probably ignore this one. Still, if you like the game, then the impressive results from the 4850 Crossfire solution is nothing to sneeze at.
Trackmania Nations Forever
An immaculate update to one of the best arcade racers ever. This game is free to download and has a built in benchmark which showcases the pristine graphics that this game features.
This is where the GTX 280 is in its element. To break 100 FPS at 1680x1050 with High settings and 4xAA/16xAF deserves a tip of the hat.
Half-Life 2: Episode 2
An immersive game using the ubiquitous Source graphics engine from Valve. I've recorded a custom in-game demo driving down an inland highway, through a stream and up a hill to look out across a decimated City 17 in a chopped up old buggy.
Well if you weren't convinced before - you should be now. ATI's claim of improved AA performance certainly rings true in this instance. The AA perfomance of the 4850 is almost four times that of the 3850! And the 4850 Crossfire solution produces the largest victory over the GTX 280 yet. The 9800GTX+ continues its trend of being stronger at lower resolutions with less AA.
World In Conflict
A fast paced wartime RTS without the hassle of the typical resource management that most RTS games have. Not to mention awesome DX10 graphics and a built-in benchmarking facility.
Again the 4850 and 9800GTX+ are neck and neck, but the Crossfire cards manage to bump off the GTX 280 once more, particularly at the higher settings. That seems to be the theme of the day doesn't it?