AquaMark3 is another DirectX 9.0 benchmark that can be used to measure DirectX 9.0 performance. It can be used to do a standard benchmark, with anti-aliasing disabled, which is also available in the freeware version. But the professional version also allows you to turn on anti-aliasing and a host of other graphics options to further tax the videocard’s fill rate and memory bandwidth. We’ve first run the standard benchmark with anti-aliasing disabled to get an impression what the Radeon 9600 XT was capable of, and then the same benchmark but now with 4x full screen anti-aliasing, to see what performance drop the 9600 XT suffers from anti-aliasing.
As you can see from the graphs all cards take a significant hit when we enable 4x full screen anti-aliasing, which naturally is to be expected. All cards drop by about the same percentage in performance, the Radeon 9600 XT isn’t performing any worse than the others. From a gaming point of view anything over 25 frames per second would be playable, as the human eye stops seeing individual frames at around 24…30 frames per second, depending on the individual. Yet more is always better, as there’s no guarantee we’ll have 25 frames per second at any given instant, so having some reserve is never a bad thing. As we already mentioned this is just an impression, as this only applies to this particular benchmark, performance with other games can be quite different.
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