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Crysis demo
The Crysis demo is still fresh from the oven, but we were able to test the 8800 GT in it. Crytek has included a GPU benchmarking facility with the demo that consists of a fly-through of the island in which the opening level of the game is set, and we used it. For this test, we set all of the game's quality options at "high" (not "very high") and set the display resolution to—believe it or not—1280x800 with 4X antialiasing.

Even at this low res, these relatively beefy graphics cards chugged along. The game looks absolutely stunning, but obviously it's using a tremendous amount of GPU power in order to achieve the look.

The demo is marginally playable at these settings, but I'd prefer to turn antialiasing off in order to get smoother frame rates on the 8800 GT. That's what I did when I played through the demo, in fact.

Notice several things about our results. Although the 8800 GT keeps up with the 8800 GTS 640MB in terms of average frame rates, it hit lower lows of around 10 FPS, probably due to its lesser memory bandwidth or its smaller amount of total RAM onboard. Speaking of memory, the card for which the 8800 GT is arguably a replacement, the 320MB version of the GTS, stumbles badly here. This is why we were lukewarm on the GTS 320MB when it first arrived. Lots of GPU power isn't worth much if you don't have enough video memory. GTS 320MB owners will probably have to drop to "medium" quality in order to run Crysis smoothly.

Unreal Tournament 3 demo
We tested the UT3 demo by playing a deathmatch against some bots and recording frame rates during 60-second gameplay sessions using FRAPS. This method has the advantage of duplicating real gameplay, but it comes at the expense of precise repeatability. We believe five sample sessions are sufficient to get reasonably consistent and trustworthy results. In addition to average frame rates, we've included the low frames rates, because those tend to reflect the user experience in performance-critical situations. In order to diminish the effect of outliers, we've reported the median of the five low frame rates we encountered.

Because the Unreal engine doesn't support multisampled antialiasing, we tested without AA. Instead, we just cranked up the resolution to 2560x1600 and turned up the demo's quality sliders to the max. I also disabled the demo's 62 FPS frame rate cap before testing.

All of these cards can play the UT3 demo reasonably well at this resolution, the 8800 GT included. I noticed some brief slowdowns on the GTS 320MB right as I started the game, but those seemed to clear up after a few seconds.