Performance Leap: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra

Shader Quality - FarCry

Lastly, let's take a look at the GeForce 6800 Ultra's shader quality. After all, shader optimizations with reduced floating point precision should now no longer be necessary.

All screenshots were taken in v1.1 of the game, which already supports NV40 and beyond that also offers SM3.0 profiles. However, with the current driver, the 6800 U was detected as PS1.1/2.0 hardware by the game, just like the FX 5950 U and the 9800XT.

We selected a few scenes in which we detected large differences in quality between the different cards.

This comparison shows that the GeForce 6800 Ultra still uses optimized shader code in FarCry. On NVIDIA hardware, the ground seems less detailed in the upper part of the scene (light reflection). The flashlight was turned on in this scene. Level: Archive.

"Rough" pixels are visible in other scenes as well. Here you see a wall in level Cooler. It seems that light reflections are calculated with lower precision on NVIDIA cards. (Flashlight turned off).

This comparison shows that the 6800 U doesn't simply run in the same mode as the FX 5950 U. The different reflections of the light on the two NV cards can be attributed to a different light model, as the next comparison will show.

This example, in which we lighted up the ground with the flashlight, perfectly illustrates the different light models of the flashlight. While the ground is just roughly lit on the FX 5950 Ultra, you can see a certain light focus on both the Radeon 9800XT and the GeForce 6800 Ultra. Yet even the circle of light rendered by the 6800 Ultra displays some rough pixels.