Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe (for ATI systems)
ASUS P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe (for NVIDIA systems)
2GB Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4
ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB
ATI Radeon X1900 XTX
BFG GeForce 7950 GX2
Driver version ForceWare 91.45
NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX
Driver version ForceWare 91.33
250GB Maxtor Hard Drive Maxline III SATA Hard Drive w/16MB Cache
Windows XP Professional SP2
Half-Life 2 Lost Coast
Far Cry 1.33 (1.4 patch for ATI cards)
Quake 4 1.2
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Battlefield 2 1.3
Call of Duty 2 1.2
Before we get started, we should note one quick item: 4xAA testing. We’re going to exclude Quad SLI from most of these tests, as we’ve already shown you that the GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad SLI cards aren’t even capable of outperforming a GeForce 7900 GTX SLI config in most situations with 4xAA/16xAF, so we’re going to give ATI the edge here by default (with the exception of F.E.A.R. and Quake 4, two of the only applications that we test with which scale well under 4xAA for Quad SLI). We should also note that all NVIDIA cards are tested with the “High Quality” setting enabled in the NVIDIA control panel, the default setting is “Quality”. Also, all cards tested here are running with their respective adaptive AA and transparency AA modes turned on, with supersampling being used for all ATI and NVIDIA cards.
We attempted to test HDR+AA with Oblivion and a Chuck version of Catalyst 6.8 provided by ATI, but the X1950 XTX CrossFire card refused to work with AA enabled, crashing back to the desktop every time.
We’re going to be taking a look at the image quality delivered under the various AA and AF modes (as well as the optimizations in the control panel) in Part 2 of our Image Quality roundup (complete with more benchmarks), so be on the lookout for that article shortly.