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Home > Hardware Reviews > Graphics Cards

Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Benchmarking update

2. Need For Speed - Most Wanted

Wake up to the smell of burnt rubber as the thrill of illicit street racing permeates into the air.

Combining illicit street racing and tuner customization with the intensity of strategic police pursuit that surpasses any Hollywood-style chase scene, Need for Speed Most Wanted will be on every gamer's 'must-have' list this holiday season. Out-race rivals, evade cops and exploit hundreds of miles of open road as gamers make their way up the Blacklist.

To become the most wanted racer, players must build up their street cred and Rap Sheet with gripping, white knuckle, head-to-head races with the top drivers on the streets, as well as pull daring, evasive moves to out-run and out-fox the cops that patrol the open road. Players can manage their heat or utilize a number of strategic tactics to keep the cops off their tails as they leave their rivals behind to suck their exhaust fumes.

- Benchmark Settings

NFS Most Wanted does not include a default benchmark. To measure the card's performance, we've chosen to record the framerate at the start of a circuit race with end-game cars. The starting point tends to be one of the most graphically demanding sections because of the smoke created by spinning wheels added to the rest of the game's visual effects. If a card can pass this stage with an acceptable framerate, it is a guarantee that it will face no problems with the rest of the game.

The resolutions we used are 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200. We measured performance at the lowest and highest possible settings.

All cards performed satisfactorily without Anti-aliasing. Even the X600XT can still bring an average of 36 frames per second at 1024x768. Increasing the resolution any higher however, would seem to be a mistake as the frame rate drops below 25 fps and don't forget that all video settings are already set to the lowest level. For the remaining cards, although the framerate is bound by CPU power at around 70fps, we can still see the difference, especially with the lesser cards which drop the frame rate at the higher resolutions.

You'll notice the X600XT does not register (0 fps). This is because the option of enabling some details such as Anti-Aliasing was for some reason grayed out. Performance has really fallen with all cards and only the Aopen 7800GTX SLI and the overclocked 7800GTX from Asus deliver more than 35fps at the highest resolution.




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