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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
We tested Call of Duty 4 by recording a custom demo of a multiplayer gaming session and playing it back using the game's timedemo capability. Since this is a high-end graphics card we're testing, we enabled 4X antialiasing and 16X anisotropic filtering and turned up the game's texture and image quality settings to their limits.

We've chosen to test at 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600—resolutions of roughly two, three, and four megapixels—to see how performance scales. I've also tested at 1280x1024 with the 9600 GT and its closest competitors here, since some of them struggled to deliver completely fluid rate rates at 1680x1050.

The 9600 GT delivers jaw-dropping performance in CoD4, keeping frame rate averages above 40 FPS even at 1920x1200 resolution. That's astounding, because we're talking about a great-looking modern game running with 4X antialiasing, 16X aniso filtering, and peak quality options. In fact, the 9600 GT shadows the GeForce 8800 GT, trailing it by only a few frames per second.

Note that in this game, I've also provided results for a stock-clocked GeForce 9600 GT (at 650/900MHz), for comparison. Although dropping from the Palit card's frequencies to Nvidia's reference clocks puts a little more distance between the 8800 GT and the 9600 GT, it doesn't drop the 9600 GT into Radeon territory. Both the 3850 and 3870 are consistently slower.

Sadly, just when you need SLI, at 2560x1600, it fails. The story is the same on both the 9600 GT and the 8800 GT. My best theory: they may be running out of video memory, which would explain the big drop in performance.