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 X800XL from Connect3D delivers enough frames per second under 1280x1024 to say that this game is actually very enjoyable. However, at 1600x1200, performance is still unacceptable and only the 6800 Ultra can come up with the required rendering power.
Enabling 4x Multisampling and 8x Anisotropic filtering makes the game unplayable at high resolutions with the majority of the cards. The XL is no exception to the rule and the highest recommended resolution for this game seems to be 1024x768 if not 800x600.