All week we have talked about the performance of the 8.41 display driver and the performance on various ATI graphics cards from the R300 series to the latest R600 graphics card. In some of these articles, we have briefly commented on the image quality, but in this article we will be looking exclusively at the image quality while gaming with the ATI Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB under Linux.
For Linux-native games, the most graphics-intensive title is currently Quake 4. However, that soon will be overcome by Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Unreal Tournament 3. Both of these games will be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest graphics rendering capabilities in NVIDIA's GeForce 8 and ATI's Radeon HD 2000 series. While neither of these games are officially released, a private Linux beta is available for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, which is what we had used as the basis for these graphics tests. The Radeon HD 2900XT was used in the system we previously used for our R600 testing, which included dual Intel Xeon quad-core processors, 4GB of FB-DIMM DDR2 RAM, and Fedora 7 with the Linux 184.108.40.206 kernel. For the graphics driver, we had used the 8.41 release.
Immediately upon launching the ET: Quake Wars Linux on the Radeon HD 2900XT we immediately tried out the maximum system settings for our setup. These graphical settings consisted of all image quality settings at their maximum levels, a resolution of 1680 x 1050 for our LCD monitor, vertical sync enabled, and soft particles enabled. For Linux users, a Radeon HD 2000 or GeForce 8 series graphics card will be needed for proper soft particles support. Unfortunately, as the 8.41 driver does not support anti-aliasing (AA) or anisotropic filtering (AF) on the R600 series, we were unable to use either in this article.