13. Thief 3
Instead of Deus Ex from now on we'll be testing our cards using Thief 3. It's based on the same engine but it's much less GPU intensive and playable by more VGA cards than Deus.
The game makes severe use of Pixel Shader 1.1 instructions, the bloom effect and stencil shadows to achieve a wonderful result in your screen.
In the game you play the part of Master Thief Garrett who is back to rule out any evil forces using his unique stealth abilities. Deadly Shadows shows what stealth gameplay is all about. This game really gives you the feel of sneaking around and holding your breath when stuck in a sticky situation.
Since there is no official benchmark for the game, we'll do our tests using a GPU intensive scene from the tutorial-level which we believe that represents the average fps you'll get when playing the game.
Thief 3 is a torture test for graphics cards. All lower class cards fail to provide stable performance in this benchmark when selecting full details from the settings menu.
Normally, any value above 25~30fps can produce moving scenes without observing any freezing. At the highest tested resolution, the AOpen 6800Ultra cards managed to produce 39fps, only 8fps difference from the X850XT. Although the number seems rather small, considering the gaming engine of Thief3 and the graphic demands it has, 39fps is more than enough.
Outstanding performance. Finally, a system that Thief3 can be played on without having to sacrifice image quality and video performance. 27fps at 1600x1200 is the highest value that we have ever seen, with both AA and AF enabled.