ATI + X2 The Threat
Similar to our articles with earlier X2 - The Threat BETA candidates, we are back today with another performance examination of this upcoming Linux title. However, unlike our initial NVIDIA GeForce round-up that studied the performance aspects of this game, or the frame-rate performance boosts made with each of these BETA milestones, today we are examining the ATI Radeon performance of this game. Among other language improvements and fixes found in the fourth BETA candidate released by Linux Game Publishing to its closed testing community earlier this morning, the game now offers official compatibility with ATI's commercial Linux display drivers. As we have discovered numerous times, ATI's proprietary Linux fglrx drivers do lack in some gaming titles, along with video features compared to NVIDIA, however, will X2 The Threat be a win for the red? Setting out on another X2 expedition, we have fired up our systems to test a handful of ATI Radeon video solutions with nine different in-game configurations. Unlike earlier articles, we will not be comparing the BETA performance against that of the previous release, but rather simply looking how ATI is faring with this game, which we expect will be released to the Linux community within a few more months. Below is the main configuration used throughout the entire testing process, with the exception of the Mobility Radeon X300. With the Mobility Radeon X300 testing (64MB dedicated), we had used an IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad R52 with 2 x 1024MB of OCZ DDR2-533 PC2-4200 (4-4-4-8), 18494WU (i915PM + ICH-6M), Toshiba Slim MK1032GAX 100GB, and Intel Pentium M 750 (1.86GHz). The mobile solution had used an identical software selection to the desktop system.
In addition to the Mobility Radeon X300 testing, we had also ran an ATI X300 128MB PCI Express x16 part from Sapphire and ATI X800XL 256MB PCI Express x16 part from Power Color. Unfortunately, the proprietary Linux display drivers have yet to append Radeon X1000 series support, so at this time we are unable to complete any additional tests. As a control test against the ATI line-up, we had also ran X2 - The Threat BETA 4 using a NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT PCI Express x16 128MB. During testing, all graphical options were controlled through the X2 in-game control panel and the result recorded was the total average FPS from all 24 scenes. The various benchmarking scenarios were 640 x 480 - minimum quality, 800 x 600 - minimum quality, 800 x 600 - maximum quality, 1024 x 768 - minimum quality, 1024 x 768 - shadows + antialiasing, 1280 x 1024 - minimum quality, 1280 x 1024 - shadows + bumpmaps, 1280 x 1024 - antialiasing + shadows, and 1280 x 1024 - maximum quality.
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