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Published November 17, 2008
Using the highest level of visual settings with 4xAA/16xAF enabled, the $100 GeForce 9600 GT is able to average 44fps at 1440x900, very impressive.
The Radeon HD 3870 struggled with just 32fps, while the Radeon HD 4670 managed just 30fps. The Radeon HD 3850, 4650, and GeForce 9600 GSO, 9500 GT all dipped below 30fps making for unplayable performance.
The Radeon HD 4850 and GeForce 9800 GT graphics cards complete the sub-$200 pack delivering excellent performance with an average of 50fps. The age old GeForce 8800 GTX is still going strong with 56fps making it only slightly slower than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 which manages 60fps. The Radeon HD 4870 did well with an average of 63fps, though it was seriously outclassed by both GeForce GTX 200 products.
The GeForce GTX 260 (216SP) graphics card scored 75fps, while the GTX 280 rendered an impressive 84fps. The Radeon HD 4870 X2 did not go quietly defeating the GeForce GTX 280 by a single frame per second. Still this wasn't enough to take the performance crown from Nvidia as we found that SLI works rather well in the Call of Duty 4 game engine. This is evident when looking at the performance of the GeForce 9800 GX2 which averaged 88fps.
For most of these graphics cards the relatively low 1440x900 resolution did not provide much of a challenge, so now we are stepping up to the native resolution of a 22” LCD monitor. At 1680x1050 the GeForce 9600 GT drops 9fps to just 35fps which is still good playable performance. This time the Radeon HD 3870 and 4670 bomb out, as do the other four graphics cards below them in the graph.
The GeForce 9800 GT and Radeon HD 4850 both managed to deliver playable performance with an average of 42fps each. The GeForce 8800 GTX continues to prove that it is very capable with an average of 46fps. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 cracks the 50fps barrier, making it almost twice as efficient as a standard Radeon HD 3870 graphics card which nice to see.
The Radeon HD 4870 was again slower than the GeForce GTX 260 that averaged 64fps. The GTX 280 remained behind the dual-GPU Radeon HD 4870 X2 by a single frame per second. Last but not least, the GeForce 9800 GX2 remained the fastest graphics card tested in CoD 5 (so far).
Now at 1920x1200, where those with 24” LCD monitors would ideally like to game we find that the GeForce 9600 GT is no longer fast enough to keep above the 30fps mark. The GeForce 9800 GT just manages to remain in the game with 35fps, while the Radeon HD 4850 produced an average of 36fps. Even the GeForce 8800 GTX fell below 40fps. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 was able to keep within 40fps, while the Radeon HD 4870 managed 46fps matching the GeForce 9800 GTX+.
The GeForce GTX 260 (216SP) was again impressive, this time with a highly playable 55fps at 1920x1200. For the first time the GeForce GTX 280 was able to overcome the Radeon HD 4870 X2 albeit by just one extra frame per second. The GeForce 9800 GX2 continued to impress rendering 71fps which is an amazing achievement at this resolution.
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