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    Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB Review
    By Vince Freeman :  November 29, 2007

    Lost Planet DirectX 9/10 Performance

    Since we are evaluating a DirectX 10 video card, the use of Windows Vista is a definite requirement, but we also need some updated DirectX 10 game benchmarks as well. One of the best is the Lost Planet performance test, which comes in both DirectX 9 and 10 flavors, which allow across-the-board comparisons against last-generation graphics cards. The benchmark is also extremely tough on the hardware, and the resultant scores can be quite hard on the mainstream graphics cards, showing unplayable framerates in many cases. Since this is a high-end DirectX 9/10 game benchmark, we've utilized widescreen resolutions from the start, choosing 1600x1000 and 1920x1200.

    To say that Lost Planet is a demanding game benchmark would be the understatement of the year, as you can almost hear the system grinding as it completes the testing. We have settled on the Cave demo, and as with previous testing, the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB shows higher results in the DirectX 9 test than the DirectX 10 segment. In terms of overall performance, the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate posts exceptional scores, finishing in a virtual dead heat with the GeForce 8600 GTS for first place.

    Lost Planet DirectX 9/10 AA and AF Performance

    Upgrading the already tough benchmark to 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering results in a brutal gaming environment, and while the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate posts very good scores, the Radeon X1950 Pro manages to slip by and drive it down to third place.

    Crysis Performance

    Crysis is a brand new game from your friends at Crytek, and is very much like a significantly upgraded version of FarCry. The in-game visuals are incredible, and it even supports extra DirectX 10 goodies for those with top-end, enthusiast-level video cards. We're using the game demo, which includes both GPU and CPU benchmarks, and as this is a video card review, we're naturally using the former. All details have been set to Medium, as anything higher is an absolute slideshow with entry-level and mainstream video cards, and we have utilized standard 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 resolutions for the first test.

    As you can see from the benchmarks, Crysis can bring some last-generation video cards to their knees, and works considerably better on new DX10 models. The Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate does very well, giving the GeForce 8600 GTS a good run for its money, and offering competitive framerates.

    Crysis AA and AF Performance

    Moving the Crysis GPU benchmark to 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering is like throwing some extra weights on a marathon runner, and it absolutely crushes some of our reference cards. The Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB falls back, and although it finishes third, the GeForce 8600 GTS and Radeon X1950 Pro are still well ahead.



    Page 1 The Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate 256MB Card
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 DOOM 3 and Quake 4 Performance
    Page 4 Farcry and Supreme Commander Performance
    Page 5 F.E.A.R. and Company of Heroes Performance
  • Page 6 Lost Planet and Crysis Performance
    Page 7 3DMark06 Advanced Feature Performance
    Page 8 Benchmark Analysis, Value and Conclusion

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