Graphics Test 2: New Calico
This test takes place mostly in space. First, the camera closely follows a small fighter squadron that an immense mother ship catches up with (in the purest space-opera style by way of Wing Commander Prophecy). In the background is a huge planet separated from the ships by a very dense asteroid belt, and the influence of Mission To Mars and Star Wars is obvious when the mother ship fires and blows up the surface of the planet.
The test uses the same rendering engine as the first one, though, and so shouldn’t shake up the hierarchy, despite some little specific features like the use of local and global ray tracing effects (parallax mapping, volumetric fog and True Impostors).
The only change in the rankings is that the Radeon HD 3870 moved ahead of the 9600 GT OC by 5%, whereas it was 8% behind in the preceding test. The HD 3870 X2 dropped to only a 76% performance edge over the HD 3870, but easily stayed ahead of the 8800 Ultra.