Gameplay Stinks with RTM Vista and Current Drivers


Last but not least there is the DX9 torture test of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. For this test, the only settings that aren't maximize are HDR and soft shadows. HDR is disabled because the Nvidia GeForce 7900GTX cannot render HDR with antialiasing at the same time and neither can the Radeon unless there is a special driver build. Soft shadows are disabled because this rendering technique simply does not appear correctly. Shadows can appear on characters' faces if there is a light source behind their heads leaving the illusion that all of the characters have beards (even the women).

The outdoor test scene contains long lines of sight; day is changing into night, and there is foliage swaying in the breeze. This has a severe impact on performance. This is where raw horsepower can muscle its way through this test. The indoor test scene is just the opposite. It is a large room with highly textured surfaces, a highly detailed sword in the protagonist's hand and periodic lightning flashes. This scene demands less to be drawn and the performance is higher than the massive outdoor scene. The two together give an overview of what a gamer might experience.

The results show AMD with an advantage in Vista over XP in the outdoor scenes. This is the test that places the bottleneck associated with added performance solely on the graphics processor. The results demonstrates that the Vista driver is doing what it needs to do when the system is hindered by heavy rendering loads. The outdoor test shows the direct opposite. AMD for the most part falls into the anticipated 10% reduction but Nvidia shows double-digit negatives across the board except for one test setting. Once again, there is a hard performance hit at 2048x1536.