XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review :: Setup Gaming on the 8800 Ultra

05-25-2007 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Doc Overclock

Setup of the XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition went without issue, except the first card from XFX died on me within the first day. After hours of trying to figure out why pixel lines would show up in the Windows 2D Desktop environment and numerous freezes in game, I determined that the card was bad. After replacing the 8800 Ultra with a second one, testing proceeded apace. After a few weeks of testing and using the card in my primary gaming computer I have found it to be extremely powerful and stable throughout.

We do our entire video card testing in Windows XP. Without games that require DirectX 10 there is no reason to change our test operating system and yet no reason to change the test games. Once DX10 games are released into the wild, we'll likely change our entire test setup and benchmarks to reflect the new API. I did take the opportunity to install Vista without issue and the Lost Planet demo. The game ran without issue, except slow performance with the DX10 path (17 fps 2048x1536) at high resolutions.

The first game I put through the paces with the XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition was the Lost Planet demo. The game has two demos, a DX9 demo and a DX10 demo. The DX9 demo played very well with framerates in the 30s at 2048x1536 with 4x AA and 16x AF. The DX10 demo played at 14 FPS at those settings. The differences in the two demos include HDR on the DX10 demo, coarser snow, and better particle effects. The demo shows that the DirectX 10 games will have a performance penalty while playing.

Stalker, Shadows of Chernobyl is another game that was released recently. This game uses DirectX 9 Pixel and Vertex Shaders throughout. Stalker is one of the games that round out the DirectX 9 generation of games. The 8800 Ultra played this game very well, with no slowdowns at maximum resolution and settings. Playing Stalker with 16xQ AA and 16x AF is an amazing experience, but the performance at those settings leaves a lot to be desired at maximum resolution.

Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is the latest game from Electronic Arts Los Angeles the makers of the Command and Conquer series. With stars like Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Michael Ironsides and Billy Dee Williams, C+C3 rounds out the C+C storyline with a bang. Improved graphics allows the units to really shine. As a RTS game, graphics are not as important, after all, the view of the battlefield is limited, meaning ultra-detailed units will get lost in the shuffle of battle. The game played at a constant 30fps throughout (framerate cap).

The fourth game I played on the 8800 Ultra was the bundled Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter game. The game is rather dated in that it was released early last year, but it is still an outstanding showcase for the 8800 Ultra. The game played at maximum resolution and in game settings. Turning on 16xQ AA and 16x AF was playable up to 1280x960. 1600x1200 is playable mostly at those settings but the game would have areas where it would be unplayable at that resolution and AA setting. Note, 16xQ AA is the highest level of AA the 8800 Ultra can do and is a bit of a resource hog.


Game screenshots


XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review


XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review


XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review