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Benchmark Results: Tom Clancy’s EndWar

Roundup: Mainstream Graphics Cards From ATI And Nvidia

EndWar uses an enhanced Unreal 3 engine that looks very good on-screen. This game really isn’t ideal for benchmarking because its frame rate is capped at 30 FPS by a software limiter. This is typical for current real-time strategy games and limits setting options for benchmarking to a narrow range.

Nevertheless, we observed it was possible to depress frame rates below 30 FPS in Replay Kopenhagen. We could only use the 1920x1200 resolution without AA—in that case, the 3D engine and the fastest graphics cards all had enough headroom to hit the 30 FPS limit, which produced identical results for all contenders. Borderline cards in this category include the GeForce 9800 GTX+, which achieved frame rates of 29.5 FPS, which rounded up to 30 FPS. Any faster cards were clipped to 30 FPS, though they probably could have delivered at least a few more frames per second unfettered.

When AA was turned on, our measurements worked better, because the replay could load even the most powerful graphics cards more heavily. The top-end graphics card classes are sure to hit the 30 FPS ceiling more often, so we thus had to treat the results as producing absolutely fluid rendering (no more was possible in this game world). At the bottom of the range, results are less ambiguous—if a graphics card lacks sufficient power, a difference of 10 FPS means a 30% decrease in performance. The High graphics-quality slider setting was as high as we could go.

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