Performance in Strategies
Age of Empires 3: The War Chiefs
The War Chiefs is not a new game, but an add-on to the original Age of Empires 3 that includes new maps, campaigns and war units. You can now play for Indian civilizations such as the Aztecs, Iroquois, and Sioux, hence the name of the add-on. Itís beyond the scope of the review to describe the changes in game-play, but from the graphics side The War Chiefs is the same as the original and runs on the same engine, without any modifications. The game is still incompatible with FSAA modes higher than 4x.
Just as earlier, the GeForce 7950 Quad SLI system suffers a performance hit in comparison with the single card, which confirms that that there are no serious technical changes in The War Chiefs . As for the GeForce 8800 GTX, its average performance is on the same level with the Radeon X1950 XTX CrossFire, but its minimum speed is considerably higher than that of the ATI solution.
Company of Heroes
Company of Heroes is considered by many to be the best tactical RTS with a World War 2 setting, and not without reasons. Besides well-balanced gameplay, the game features superb visuals like in a regular first-person 3D shooter. Such a high level of detail can seldom be seen in a real-time strategy, and Company of Heroes is a nice exception. This is achieved by means of the Essence Engine, developed by Relic Entertainment. It supports all the modern technologies like advanced shader-based special effects, HDR, dynamic lighting and shadowing, normal maps, etc.
High-quality visuals never come out cheap. Letís see how demanding Company of Heroes is.
Itís not that bad as we might have thought. Even last-generation single cards have acceptable speeds in 1280x1024 whereas the GeForce 8800 GTX easily delivers comfortable performance in 1920x1200, outperforming the Radeon X1950 XTX and the GeForce 7950 Quad SLI in two and three times, respectively.
Well, the GeForce 7950 Quad SLI system obviously has some problems here. It is only half as fast as the single GeForce 7950 GX2. It seems that the Quad SLI system turns 4x FSAA on correctly, but also switches to compatibility mode with only one out of its four GPUs active. We guess the current generation of GeForce 7950 Quad SLI will never really take off because the single GeForce 8800 GTX beats this complex, capricious and much more expensive quad-processor configuration in a majority of games.
The GeForce 7950 Quad SLI does better in this mode. It seems to be using SLI AA + SFR or SLI AA + AFR, although this operation mode has never been mentioned by the developer with respect to the GeForce 7950 Quad SLI. As a result, this system even beats the GeForce 8800 GTX in 1920x1200. But compare their minimum speeds, and youíll see right away whoís the true winner here.
The GeForce 8800 GTX is on top again. In 16xQ mode it makes two out of the three resolutions playable, which makes this antialiasing mode practicable, as opposed to 16x SLI AA.