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Benchmark Results: Tom Clancy’s Endwar

Mainstream Graphics Card Roundup
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Tom Clancy’s 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. This is typical for current real-time strategy games and limits setting options for benchmarking to a narrow range.

Nevertheless, we observed that it was possible to push 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. Any faster cards were clipped to 30 FPS, although they probably could have delivered at least a few more frames per second without the 30 FPS cap.

When AA was turned on our measurements were more meaningful, since the replay could load even the most powerful graphics cards more heavily. The top-end graphics chip classes are sure to hit the 30 FPS ceiling more often. 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 setting was as high as we could go for graphics quality.

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