Squeezing Value Out of Lower-End Cards

Doom 3

The Doom 3 engine can put cards through an ordeal with its complex lighting. It was the first game in a long time that made gamers change what they thought were acceptable frame rates. Prior to the game's release, gamers expected frames rates to be in the hundreds-per-second range. Afterwards, they began settling for anything above 30 frames per second with Doom 3.

We use the Doom 3 default time demo, "demo1," for each of our tests. First, the graphics card driver is set to "application controlled." Then, for the first run, we disable FSAA and then run the high-quality setting in the game. When set at high quality, anisotropic filtering is automatically enabled and set to eight-sample mode. For the second run, we turn FSAA to 4X to really tax the GPU.

This was the first time that the overclocked 6600 was able to beat the stock version of the ATI R430 based GTO / XL card, but when overclocked it takes the lead again. The X1300 Pro only sustains playable frame rates at 1024 x 768 without antialiasing turned off. At 1600 x 1200 everything is in order once again.