DOOM 3 Performance
DOOM 3 is a game that needs no introduction, and continues in a long line of id Software Quake and DOOM first-person shooters. This latest installment is one serious 3D game test, including some of the highest-end graphics yet seen on the PC. It is also a different type of game benchmark, especially compared to Quake 3, and it has an almost total reliance on the 3D video card for high-end framerate results. This limits its use in certain system or CPU testing, but makes DOOM 3 a very good 3D video card benchmark.
DOOM 3 is more of an old school graphics benchmark these days, and this is obvious in some of the results. The Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB posts very impressive scores for its class, easily outpacing the Radeon X1650 XT, GeForce 7600 GT and Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB cards at both resolutions. Once we move higher on the list to the GeForce 7900 GS and GT 256MB, the Gigabyte board simply cannot keep up, but does extremely well for a mainstream video card.
DOOM 3 AA and AF Widescreen Performance
The performance rankings do shift a bit once we move the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB card to our higher resolution widescreen settings. The upgrade to 4X AA and 16X AF detail options is both good and bad news for the Gigabyte card, as it does close the gap considerably to the higher-end NVIDIA cards, but the Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB slides just ahead of it in the standings.
Quake 4 Performance
Quake 4 is the latest in 3D first-person shooters from id Software and Raven, and while the actual storyline is pretty standard fare and the game itself is based on the DOOM 3 engine, the graphics are exceptional and it is an improvement over previous games. The lighting and shadow effects are excellent, and the overall level design and architecture are a real treat. The overall load on the graphics card can be extreme, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the actual hardware you are testing. For this review, we've updated to the latest patch, and use a custom netdemo for testing.
The Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS card does extremely well in our initial Quake 4 benchmarking, easily outperforming the other mainstream video cards, and even speeding by the Radeon X1950 Pro. It also comes extremely close to the GeForce 7900 GT, while outpacing the GeForce 7900 GS at 1280x1024.
Quake 4 AA and AF Widescreen Performance
As with DOOM 3, the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB does fall back a bit once the higher-end widescreen resolutions with 4X AA/16X AF detail settings enabled. It's still the fastest mainstream card in the pack, but the Gigabyte card just doesn't quite have enough to match the Radeon X1950 Pro and GeForce 7900 GS.