As the release of the Unreal Tournament 3 beta demo nears, the folks at PC Perspective have put together a performance preview to give gamers an idea of what frame rates to expect from both the demo and the full game. The preview looks at three levels from the demo running on three high-end graphics cards (Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB as well as AMD's Radeon HD 2900 XT) at resolutions of 1600x1200 to 2560x1600 and on three cheaper cards (GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB, GeForce 8600 GTS, and Radeon HD 2600 XT) at 1600x1200 and 2048x1536.
The results are encouraging, with the sub-$200 contenders managing around 30 FPS at 1600x1200. AMD's offerings also do quite well against the Nvidia cards: the 2900 XT outperforms the 8800 GTS 640MB in two of the three tests, and the 2600 XT performs quite close to the 8600 GTS overall. However, it's worth mentioning that the game apparently doesn't support antialiasing, so PC Perspective only tested with anisotropic filtering enabled.
Overall, the site concludes, "If you are willing to hit a resolution of 1600x1200 or less and not max out the shader bars in the options, most 7-series and X1k series of cards should be able to play it comfortably as well." That said, PC Perspective lauds the GeForce 8800 GTX's performance, which on average hovers 50 FPS at 2560x1600.
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