12. 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.
The X800 delivers very nice framerates in Thief 3 up to 1024x768. 36fps are simply excellent, and enough to enjoy the game the way it was meant to be played. Increasing the resolution further will require you to lower some details or else suffer in gameplay smoothness.
It seems that 800x600 is the maximum recommended resolution with the Connect3D X800. So far, we've seen only really high end cards perform moderately well with Multisampling and Anisotropic Filtering enabled. Perhaps playing the game at such settings will be easier when the 7800 and R520-cards become available.