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. The GeForce 8 Series cards tend to do very well in this benchmark, and the ASUS EN8600GT 256MB is certainly no exception. It speeds by the majority of mainstream cards, with the notable exception of the Radeon HD 2600 XT, and like other DirectX 10 cards, the ASUS board posts higher results in the DirectX 9 section.
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 gives the ASUS EN8600GT 256MB a noticeable performance advantage over the Radeon HD 2600 XT.
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 ASUS EN8600GT 256MB does well compared to other competitive cards, and the main challengers stick to the same framerate range.
Crysis AA and AF Performance
Things get more interesting once the Crysis GPU benchmark moves to 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering, and the ASUS EN8600GT 256MB acquits itself very well. It manages to outperform all but its big brother, the GeForce 8600 GTS.