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Doom 3 Performance: Part 1

Today VR-Zone brings you a preview of Doom 3 performance using today’s most popular graphics cards. In Part one of our three part Doom 3 benchmarking series, we’ll be using custom timedemos to give you an idea as to how the different graphics cards currently on the market perform in id Software’s brand new game.


The wait is finally over. Doom 3 is only one day from shipping all across the United States, and gamers will finally be able to play id Software’s latest creation in only one days time. Ever since May of 2002 when Doom 3 was first officially showcased, computer enthusiasts and gamers alike have wondered what kind of hardware would be used to run Doom 3 on its full potential.

When we first saw the E3 demo over two years ago, the game was running perfectly on a Radeon 9700 Pro graphics card and a Pentium 4 2.4GHz computer. But in the two years since E3 2002, there have been many changes in the graphics card industry. First, id Software initially backed ATI’s hardware as best for Doom 3, but as you know from the press releases and buzz from NVIDIA, id Software is now backing NVIDIA as the best graphics card solution for Doom 3.

Today we’ll bring you part one of our three part article on Doom 3 performance. We’ll be using a high end system and different AGP based video cards to show how Doom 3 runs on NVIDIA and ATI’s latest technologies.

Benchmarking in Doom 3 is different than in most other games. First, actual game play is capped at 60FPS, so real time FPS scores can only be achieved using FRAPS. In part two of our Doom 3 Benchmarking series, we’ll be using FRAPS to gather real-world performance figures from the game. Today we’ll be using a custom-made timedemo to give you a better idea of what to expect out of your graphics cards.

We’ve had Doom 3 here in the labs for four days now and have not experienced any stability problems with ATI and NVIDIA’s current offerings. The game ran without incident on every rig we tested on, but new driver releases optimizing for Doom 3 are bound to come out in the next few weeks as both ATI and NVIDIA are hard at work in making Doom 3 run as fast as possible on their hardware.

Testing Setup:

Hardware Setup:

AMD Athlon 64 3800+
• MSI nForce 3 Ultra Platinum (Socket 939)
• 2 x 512 Corsair XMS PC3200L Series (2-2-2-5)
• ATI Radeon X800XT Platinum Edition
• ATI Radeon X800 Pro
• ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
• NVIDIA GeForce 6800
• NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra
• Western Digital 36Gb Raptor

Drivers, and Operating System Setup:

Windows XP Professional SP1
• VIA 4 in 1
• Detonator 61.77
• Catalyst 4.7
• Desktop resolution 1024x768x32, 75Hz
• DirectX 9.0b

To run our first batch of Doom 3 benchmarks, we’re using NVIDIA and ATI’s latest drivers, coupled with the Athlon 64 3800+ processor running on a brand new MSI nForce 3 Ultra motherboard.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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