Far Cry's 1.3 patch adds Shader Model 3.0 support. While utilizing newer versions of the SM does alter the image quality of the picture generated for the better, the main advantage to it is performance increase. But given the 6200A's crippled nature, performance gains are little. FRAPS was used to find frame rate during one specific, repeatable section of the game. The cards were tested using the game's default medium detail options.
The optimal resolution for both cards was 800x600 and 32bit color. Both stayed away from dipping under 30 FPS and averaged about 40 FPS. There was no noticeable difference in performance between the two video cards.
Need For Speed Underground 2
Need For Speed Underground 2 boosts the light and blur effects of the first NFSU. As a result, it is very graphically demanding. With all in-game IQ settings on, even a GeForce 6800 can barely run the game at a basic 1280x1024 resolution without anti-aliasing. We used FRAPS and recorded data for a two lap race around Resort Loop with all eye candy turned on.
The only resolution that would run reasonably without disabling light and motion effects was 640x480 32bit color. Anything more and the game slowed down to a crawl. The Radeon 9600 is noticeably smoother than the 6200A in NFSU2. Looking at the numbers, it does run on average 8FPS faster.
Unreal Tournament 2004
Unreal Tournament 2004 is a fast paced shooter and demands a steady framerate to be played competitively. With eye candy turned on however, it can also be a beautiful example of 3D graphics. Since UT2K4 is an older game and not quite as intensive as Half-Life 2 or Doom 3, we were able to run a higher resolution of 1024x768. We used FRAPS to record framerate in one map of 1v1 Albatross against the computer.
Like in CS:S and Far Cry, the GeForce 6200A and Radeon 9600 perform identically. Given the 6200A's weaker 64-bit memory interface, the 6200A has tested fairly well versus the 128-bit Radeon.
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