Benchmark Results: Tom Clancy’s Endwar
Endwar uses an enhanced Unreal 3 engine that looks very good on the screen. This game really isn’t ideal for benchmarking, since a software limiter caps its frame rate at 30 FPS. This is typical for most current real-time strategy games, which limits settings 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+ and the Radeon HD 4870, both of which achieved frame rates of 29.5 FPS, which rounded up to 30 FPS. Any faster cards were clipped to 30 FPS, although they probably could have delivered at least a few frames per second more.
When AA was turned on, our measurements worked better because the replay could tax even the most powerful graphics cards more heavily. At the bottom of the range, the results are less ambiguous. If a graphics card lacks sufficient muscle, a difference of 10 FPS means a 30% decrease in performance. The High setting was as high as we could go for graphics quality.