Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War
We're using the full retail version of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War, and we've used a part of the first mission for our manual run through. There is no control for Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering from within the game's options, so we have configured AA and AF in the driver control panel.
We ran the video configuration utility on both video cards, and allowed the application to select the best game detail settings. As we've done throughout this review, we ran our manual run through at several settings to determine the best-looking playable configuration.
The GeForce 6600GT was capable of playing this title at 1024x768 with all but one detail setting set to its highest setting. That was the 'FX Detail' setting, which we can only assume stands for effects. The GeForce 6600GT's Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering settings were controlled from the driver control panel, and set to 2x and 4x respectively.
On the other hand, the Radeon 9800 Pro delivered solid frame rates at 1024x768 with most of the detail settings set to their highest setting - 'FX Detail' and 'Terrain Detail' were set to Medium. We traded a higher resolution for the ability to run with any Anti-Aliasing enabled, while Anisotropic Filtering was set to 4x.
We see that there are the obvious aliased textures on the Radeon 9800 Pro, which is down to the lack of Anti-Aliasing. We would prefer to run with AA enabled where possible, but we also found that 800x600 wasn't particularly visually pleasing either. If you look very closely, there are slight differences in terrain details, but unless you were really looking for those differences, we don't think you would notice them in game - the differences only become apparent when you view the scenes next to each other.
The Radeon 9800 Pro delivers a higher minimum frame rate, so the settings we have used on the Radeon 9800 Pro are slightly <i>more</i> playable than the settings we found to be optimal on the GeForce 6600GT. However, you will be pushed to notice the difference between 25 frames per second and 27 frames per second in an instant. On the other hand, the GeForce 6600GT delivered a higher average frame rate - we don't think this is quite important, as we feel that the minimum frame rate determines how playable a title is.