HardOCP compares high-end Oblivion IQ, performance

The HardOCP has a new article up comparing performance and image quality with three high-end 512MB graphics cards in a handful of games, including the recently-released Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. The OCP uses an ATI Radeon X1900 XTX, X1800 XT, and the elusive NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB, all supplied by MSI and running at stock speeds. Oblivion's image quality settings and their performance tradeoffs are examined, with some settings causing the ATI cards to run into problems: the shadows on grass option reportedly causes continuous flashing, and the game's self-shadows produce odd patterns on the models. The only way to get around those problems seems to be disabling the respective options. The NVIDIA card isn't without problems either, with the reviewer complaining about severe input lag. This is fixed by installing the "Coolbits" ForceWare patch and setting the "Max frames to render ahead" Direct3D option to 1.

Aside from exploring various game settings, the review also tackles image quality, which is roughly the same across the cards, although ATI's "High Quality" aniso setting provides somewhat better-looking anisotropic filtering. The performance tests are less notable, considering that the X1900 XTX is the only latest-gen card of the bunch, giving it upper hand throughout most of the tests. Using a 512MB GeForce 7800 GTX also seems like an odd choice, as the card is extremely difficult to find and isn't even listed in our price search engine. Still, the HardOCP's performance tests provide a rough idea of which settings high-end cards can handle in the latest games.

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