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Home > Hardware Reviews > Graphics Cards

Thursday, June 17, 2004
AOpen Aeolus FX 5900 XT

4. Aquamark 3

Aquamark3


HomepageSince the majority of today's applications and games are compatible with DirectX 9, the need of benchmark applications that use DX 9 has been brought up. The benchmark uses the 3D engine (Krass engine) of the Aquanox game.

Unlike synthetic benchmarks Aquamark3 allows benchmarking in a real-world scenario with an engine and art assets representing the complexity of current state-of-the-art games. The results you get from Aquamark vary from a general result score (AquaMark Triscore), which is a result of 9 chapters each one utilizes different graphical operations. The AquaMark3 benchmark also delivers scores for specific hardware components as well as an overall score for the entire system.

The chapters that stresses the Graphics performance are the following:

In this section we present comparison charts for the following chapters:High particle count, Vertex and pixel lightning and Massive Overdraw

- High particle count

This chapter demonstrates a high number of particles being used for simulating dust and smoke. Each particle is approximated by a mass point with one degree of freedom for its rotation.

The particle system of this test is designed to render a large number of physically accurately simulated particles as efficiently as possible.



The average fps results of the Aeolus 5900 XT are the same again with the 5900 model. As for this particular test which measures the card performance when rendering high particle numbers, Aeolus indicated acceptable results.

- Vertex and pixel lightning

The objects in this scene show a broad range of different material and lightning effects used in modern game engines.

Aquamark3 tests two things: It applies many vertex and pixel shader changes straining the graphics hardware and its many texture lookups (determining the lighting contribution and material reflectivity) also strain the Multitexturing and rasterization components.

This chapter shows clearly the dominance The GForce FX 5900 XT managed to surpass its rivals with a 52 FPS top score. Here too the FX 9500 GE is last with 5 FPS back from the next card.

- Massive Overdraw

This scene demonstrates the application of the particle system for large explosions. The test stresses the graphics hardware by the high overdraw of textured areas as many particles overlap each other. A huge explosion that is included on this chapter, pushes the VGA card to the limits. It's really awesome if you imagine the number of pixels and shaders needed to make such a bombastic scene.

This is an important test, because the explosions in games require much vertex and pixel processing. In many games when an explosion occurs, this cause frames to drop suddenly at that particular moment. So this test is a simulation of what to expect from your card when facing explosions and other similar effects in games.

The low fps all VGA cards show, proves the complexity of the textures and lightning effects accumulated on the huge explosion of this test. It is worth noting that judging by the resulting fps of the previous chapters, ATI cards had a more visible drop down on this chapter. The 26 average fps, the GeForce series showed are very close to the 28 of the high-end Radeon 9800 XT.

- Aquamark Triscore

The Aquamark Triscore comprises 3 values: the overall system performance, the performance of the graphics system and the CPU performance. Keep in mind that this is not the total result of the above tests, but the result of the whole benchmark process including all 9 chapters.

This score is a sum of all chapters and not just the 3 minor chapters examined. As you can see AOpen showed the lowest score of all. This in normal since Aeolus 5900XT has the lower clock speeds. Now let's see it's performance on a DirectX 8 benchmark - Codecreatures.




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