AquaMark 3 - High Detail
In the first of our all important AA benchmarks, we see that the Detonator 51.75 drivers offer no improvement over the older drivers - in fact, the new drivers are almost 9% slower! This could indicate that nVidia has sacrificed performance for image quality or they have not optimized their AA part of their drivers under AquaMark 3 very well.
The highly optimized and trusty Radeon 9800 with 128MB less than the FX is a little over 6% faster, which tells us that ATI have done the far better job of their product under DX9 with AA. FX with only 128MB would be much slower than Radeon.
The difference between the FX with older drivers and the Radeon this time is only about 3% faster with the FX with new drivers struggling to keep pace being a massive 22.7% slower.
The difference between the FX with old drivers and the Radeon is almost nothing at only 0.8%, which could almost be the difference between one benchmark run and another. The story doesn't get any better for nVidia here either as they are almost 26% slower than the Radeon with the new drivers.
These sets of AA benchmarks under AquaMark 3 tell us that either nVidia has stuffed up big time with their Detonator 50 series of drivers when it comes to AA or have not yet optimized their drivers for AquaMark 3. To give us some sort of answer to this, we decided to run the Mother Nature test of 3DMark03 which is DX9 compatible - that's on the next page.