I am as excited as anyone about the coming days playing a little UT3 action; it's a fast paced shooter that has a style all its own. And it looks like more users are going to find their systems capable of playing it than we originally thought. Epic has done a great job making the game engine scalable across a wide range of systems.
That being said, if you want to blow away your senses and get the top image quality settings with that super-smooth frame rate we all desire, then NVIDIA's 8800 GTX card is the way to go. Our hours of gaming with it were sheer joy and I have no problems calling it the best graphics card for Unreal Tournament 3, period. Runners up include AMD's HD 2900 XT and NVIDIA's 8800 GTS cards, both the 640MB and 320MB versions. This is one of the few times that AMD can claim the HD 2900 XT can consistently outperform the 8800 GTS card, and the fact that it is in a huge title like UT3 is good news. The mid-range cards we tested, the NV 8600 GTS and AMD 2600 XT, provided acceptable game play experiences even though they were noticeably slower than the other four cards.
As far as performance goes on NVIDIA and AMD cards -- the final decision will probably take weeks or months to pan out as neither NVIDIA nor AMD had the demo at the time I first received it. So no one has had time to add in the tweaks and fixes in their drivers for the UT3 demo and I wouldn't be surprised to see beta drivers from both camps in the coming week.
Now to just see what Ageia can do with it. If al these new games like UT3 and Crysis really do take so much of performance due to complex physics, the Ageia card might give such an impact that makes it worthwhile. I doubt that though, it should offer some nice features.
I'm playing it on XP at 1680x1050 with 4xAA, 16xAF and all in game qualities at the max. It runs quite smoothly, and the graphics are good, but they're not groundbreaking; also the game play is great for UT fans, but I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have full body awareness. I also just noticed that the game's lighting engine sucks; I'm starting to think Epic was feeding us major BS when they said the engine supported per pixel lighting and dynamic soft shadows, because this version certainly doesn't use either.
I'm playing it on XP at 1680x1050 with 4xAA, 16xAF and all in game qualities at the max. It runs quite smoothly, and the graphics are good, but they're not groundbreaking;
I am going to pretend like I didnt just read that or I may lose sleep tonight...lol, I mean really? I am runnin @ 1440x900 and mid to high detail on the system below because I really want the 60 FPS @ all times, and I dont even own another game on any system that can beat this game in the graphics department...IDK maybe I am bias...dont look @ my avatar please! lol
I played a death match of "Heat Ray" on my overclocked 8600GTS 1440x900 16xAF everything cranked even post processing to "intense" in single player with default bots. Using Fraps to record my frame rate.
E6300 @ 3.05ghz
Min 14 Max 67 Avg 47.937
I think my minimum was when my hard drive was seeking right before I started recording the benchmark. Was constantly getting 35-55fps mark
It runs very nicely on my hd2900xt but the thing i hate is the fact that the only real graphics settings you get are 3 sliders and a resolution setting with some post processing options... WTF is up with that !? I want to tweak stuff! it looks very nice though however i do get a bit of loading lag until i have done a 360 degree turn, i guess that is just my ram filling up.
I am running it on catalyst 7.9 so i cant wait to see how 7.10 drivers do. LOVE LOVE LOVE the new link gun. <3
Just so you know , those post processing effects are different PREFERENCES, intense does not mean it is better, it just gives it a different look. Like if you like to feel hazy then by all means crank that **** up but really if you want to actually kill stuff...