Since many gamers still don't have Vista, I wanted to test the 9600GT against the other cards on some games that aren't in DX10. I chose Supreme Commander, F.E.A.R., and Call of Duty 4. The first two games have in-game benchmarks. On COD4, I played "The Bog" map while running FRAPS. I kept my performance on each run as close as I possibly could, stopping, reloading, throwing grenades, etc, at the same places. I really don't like benchmarking this way, for one reason it is hard to do exactly the same thing every time, for another, FRAPS eats a lot of resources and can possibly hinder performance, effecting the benchmark numbers.
Supreme Commander is a modern version of the old RTS favorite, Total Annihilation. Though the graphics are a little dated, they are very detailed, and really push a system to the max. This is another game that requires a strong, stable system to play successfully. Settings were: High, no AA, 1280 x 1024.
Needless to say, the 9600GT looked much, much better than the other cards.
F.E.A.R. is a rather creepy FPS that plays well on most systems. I expected the older cards to do pretty well on this game. Settings were: High, no AA, 1280 x 1024.
The 8 series cards did well. I have no idea why on this particular game the 8600GT did much less than the 8600GTS, but it was accurate, I ran it three more times with the same results. As before, the 9800GT outperformed the others, getting over twice the FPS as the 8600GT.
Call of Duty 4 is one of those games that will be remembered for a long time, like Doom3 and Far Cry. The graphics are great, the gameplay is awesome, the AI on the standalone version is very reasonable, and the online version rivals CounterStrike for action. The game does require a strong system to play, but still looks ok at lower settings. Settings were: Optimal, no AA, 1280 x 1024.
Once again, the 9600GT blew away the others. Though they both did very well, they didn't compare to the newer card.