GTX 480 vs. HD 5870, 8x AA Performance Analysis, Part 3

Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3)

    UT3 150x150 GTX 480 vs. HD 5870, 8x AA Performance Analysis, Part 3

Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3) is the fourth game in the Unreal Tournament series. UT3 is a first-person shooter and online multiplayer video game by Epic Games. Unreal Tournament 3 provides a good balance between image quality and performance, rendering complex scenes well even on lower-end PCs. Of course, on high-end graphics cards you can really turn up the detail. UT3 is primarily an online multiplayer title offering several game modes and it also includes an offline single-player game with a campaign.

For our tests, we used the very latest 1.5 game patch for Unreal Tournament 3, released after its ‘Titan’ pack. The game doesn’t have a built-in benchmarking tool, so we used FRAPS and did a fly-by of a chosen level. Here we note that performance numbers reported are a bit higher than compared to in-game. The map we use is called “Containment” and it is one of the most demanding of the fly-bys. Our tests were run at resolutions of 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050 with UT3’s in-game graphics options set to their maximum values.

One drawback of the way the UT3 engine is designed is that there is no support for anti-aliasing built in so we forced 4xAA in each vendor’s control panel. We record a demo in the game and a set number of frames are saved in a file for playback. When playing back the demo, the game engine then renders the frames as quickly as possible, which is why you will often see it playing it back more quickly than you would actually play the game. Here is Containment Demo, first at 2560×1600:
UT3 251 GTX 480 vs. HD 5870, 8x AA Performance Analysis, Part 3
The GeForce is faster although both cards play this game well at absolutely maxed out settings at our maxed out resolution. Now we test at 1920×1200:
UT3 191 GTX 480 vs. HD 5870, 8x AA Performance Analysis, Part 3
Same thing but closer results when we drop the resolution and finally we test at 1680×1050:
UT3 163 GTX 480 vs. HD 5870, 8x AA Performance Analysis, Part 3
There is absolutely no problem playing this game fully maxed out with any of our older graphics cards such as HD 4870 or GTX 280, never mind GTX 480 and HD 5870 providing overkill framerates. However, the GTX 480 wins in the Unreal Tournament 3 arena with 8x or 4xAA applied.


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Founder and Senior Editor of ABT.

5 Responses

  1. hmmm.... says:

    Please take into consideration that nVidia uses a different version of AntiAliasing starting 8x and up, therefore comparisons are henceforth limited at best. Sadly I don’t have a direct link right now, but please take it into consideration before drawing (final) conclusions.

  2. apoppin says:

    We took special care to make sure that identical AA settings were applied in all of our benchmarks including for Crysis. We even noted that in the full retail game, Just Cause 2, that we observed the benchmark results showed the Radeon was running at 8xCSAA while the GeForce was 8xAA.

    However, we have since learned from AMD that the benchmark results are wrongly identifying 8xMSAA as CSAA. The Radeon is actually running 8xMSAA and this minor issue will be addressed in a future patch.

    Everything we test is “apples to apple” unless it is specified in the review.

  3. Nice article man. Cheers

  4. Ahhroorah says:

    Amazing how you calculated the % differences and included them in the chart for 4x vs 8x AA! One of the best reviews ever.

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