NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT on AGP

Written by Tim Smalley

November 22, 2004 | 00:00

Tags: #3d #6600-gt #9800-pro #catalyst #doom-3 #far-cry #forceware #geforce #half-life-2 #radeon #video-card

Companies: #ati #nvidia

Rome: Total War

Publisher: Activision

Image Quality:

In this comparison, we are using the full retail version of Rome: Total War, and we've used part of a small custom battle to record our manual run through. The driver control panel was used to control Anisotropic Filtering, while we left Anti-Aliasing set to "Application Preference" in order to control AA using the title's in-game graphics settings.

NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT on AGP Rome: Total War NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT on AGP Rome: Total War
We did a manual run through of a section of the tutorial battle, which incorporates several unit movements along with a lot of units in the scene at the same time - it manages to provide a high level of stress on the video card because of the high polygon and geometry counts.

The GeForce 6600GT was capable of delivering a solid and very playable frame rate with a combination of Medium and High detail settings. Unit Detail, Building Detail and Grass Detail were set to 'Medium', while Effects, Vegetation and Terrain detail were all set to 'High'; finally, unit detail was set to 'Large'. With these settings, we were capable of running at 1024x768 with 2xAA 8xAF.

The new release of the Catalyst drivers, release 4.11 were slightly better performers than the previous Catalyst 4.10 - we should see the improvements in Rome: Total War on the high-end video cards that we have covered over the last few weeks. With the exception of Terrain Detail, all settings were set to 'Medium' quality, while Terrain Detail remained set to 'High' quality. We had to disable smoke and dust in order to increase our frame rates to levels that could be deemed to be relatively smooth. This allowed us to run with 1024x768 and 4xAF; unfortunately, we were not able to run with any Anti-Aliasing, but if you examine the screen caps, you will understand that there are not masses of Aliased textures.

NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT on AGP Rome: Total War NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT on AGP Rome: Total War
NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT on AGP Rome: Total War
Indeed, the only real Aliased textures were on the arms of the soldiers, which are not greatly noticeable when actually playing through the game. We see large differences between the quality of the grass and terrain, despite the fact that Terrain Detail is set to 'High' on both video cards - there are generally more blades of grass on the GeForce 6600GT, thanks to the extra terrain details.


NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT on AGP Rome: Total War
We were able to run with 2xAA on the Radeon 9800 Pro with the average frame rate remaining very close to the 42 frames per second that the video card delivered with 0xAA - in fact, it delivered a frame rate of just below 41 frames per second. However, the minimum frame rate dropped down to 18 frames per second, which is unacceptable if we are looking for a smooth gaming experience. On the other hand, the GeForce 6600GT delivered a very solid 27 frames per second minimum frame rate, which cannot be grumbled at - we had a very enjoyable gaming experience on the GeForce 6600GT in this title.
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