Since many of you don't have Vista and don't use DX10, I thought I'd test with some older games just to see what kind of performance we'd see.
Supreme Commander is a more modern version of the old RTS favorite, Total Annihilation. Though the graphics are deceptively simple, the game requires a powerful stable system to play at all, and an upper-end graphics card for resolutions higher than 1024 x 768. I often use this game as a stability test for overclocking, especially overclocking memory, it will BSOD a rig if the memory is even slightly unstable. I used the onboard performance test, not included on the original release, but added in a later patch. Settings were: High, no AA, 1280 x 1024.
Now here's a change. The X2 totally blew away the 9800GTX. I tried several times, the results are true.
F.E.A.R. was a popular, and rather creepy FPS, that still proves to be a pretty cool game, and often used for benchmarking. It is very playable on a lower-end system, but the explosions look so much more real with higher settings and AA. Settings on the in-game performance test were: High, AA x 2, 1280 x 1024.
The EAH3850 X2 did as well as the 9800GTX here. And like the 9800GTX, playing at Maximum settings and AA x 4 did not degrade the FPS considerably.
It seems that in older, less stressful games, the X2 gives the 9800GTX a run for its money.
Testing - Antialiasing
Face it, midrange video cards usually will get you some playable FPS, but adding AA brings them to their knees. Spending over $300 on a video card should give you good FPS with AA x 2, and decent FPS with AA x 4.
It seems that DX10 pushes GPUs pretty hard, and even the 9800GTX doesn't do well on some of the games I used for testing at AA x 4 and above in DX10. I currently don't have an XP test rig, so I was unable to test these games in DX9.
I thought that it would be interesting to retest the 3850 X2 and 9800GTX with AA on a couple of games, just to see how they would react. I chose one DX10 game and one older game. I already ran AA in a couple of the earlier tests, AA on DX10 games proved to be much more demanding than on earlier games.
FEAR-Settings were: Maximum, AA x 4, 1280 x 1024.
The 9800GTX actually performed better at higher settings in FEAR. The 3850 X2 did well, taking only a very small FPS hit with the higher settings.
Crysis-Settings were: High, AA x 2, 1280 x 1024.
Both cards took a hit in Crysis using AA, but it really slowed down the X2. The game was still quite playable, but there was some lag with both cards when changing camera angles, this really affected the X2.