Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
We'll start with Quake Wars since this game's simple "nettimedemo" allows us to record a gaming session and play it back with precise repeatability on a range of cards at a range of resolutions. Which is what we did. A lot.
We tested this game with 4X antialiasing and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled, along with "high" settings for all of the game's quality options except "Shader level" which was set to "Ultra." We left the diffuse, bump, and specular texture quality settings at their default levels, though, to be somewhat merciful to the 256MB and 320MB cards. Shadows, soft particles, and smooth foliage were enabled where possible, although the Radeon X1950 Pro wasn't capable of handling soft particles.
The GTS 512 does well enough at lower resolutions, but the pack really starts to separate as the display resolution climbs. At 1600x1200, the GTS 512 is the second-fastest single card in the bunch, just behind the GeForce 8800 GTX and just ahead of the Radeon HD 3870 in CrossFire. The most price-competitive config from AMD, the two Radeon HD 3850 cards in CrossFire, just isn't in the same league as the GTS 512. Also, the GTS 512 easily outdoes the GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB, in spite of the fact that our GTS 640MB representative is clocked at speeds substantially higher than stock.
The most formidable foe to the GTS 512 is the "factory overclocked" GeForce 8800 GT from MSI. This card is selling for under $300 online and shadows the GTS 512 very closely.
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