3DMark03 Mother Nature DX9 - High Detail
In the first of our high quality tests of AA under 3DMark03 and possibly the most important of the lot, we see the Radeon killing the FX with new drivers by an amazing 25%.
The increase in performance of the new drivers over the old drivers is only about 5% - a nice increase, but is it enough to make nVidia competitive against ATI?
As we increase the resolution, the Radeon is still way ahead by 24%. The new drivers offer a slightly higher performance increase of 5.3% over the older drivers - slowly getting better.
When we increase the resolution right up to 1600x1200, the 128MB Radeon is still able to maintain its lead of a little over 25% against the 256MB FX. The Detonator 50 drivers earn a little bit of respect giving around 6% increase in performance over the older drivers in this test, though it is hardly enough to conquer the ATI gladiator.
Considering the Radeon, with ONLY 128MB, is 25% faster than the FX with 256MB, nVidia really needs to get to work and improve their driver performance by another 2 or 3 times, at least, to be anywhere near ATI when we are talking about maximum detail graphics - AA and AF enabled - which will become more and more important from now on. There is only so much performance increase attainable through software optimization. It really may be time for nVidia to face the reality.
The slowest the Radeon ever was against the FX with either driver, in any test, was never anymore than 8% while the FX at its worst was up to 26% slower in some tests. When the FX was slower than the Radeon, it tended to be a lot higher than 8%. The only other thing we can attribute the slow performance to is better image quality - and this just happens to be what we are looking at on the next page. Maybe it's nVidia's answer to poor frame rates, let's find out if this is the case or not.