NVIDIA GeForce 9800GX2 Review - Benchmarking Lord of the Rings Online

Submitted by skipclarke on 11 June, 2008 - 18:14

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Lord of the Rings Online is a pretty game, and cranking up the settings only helps to reinforce that. The 7950GX2 posted decent fps across most of the spectrum, especially considering that I had the game running on "Ultra High" settings. With the 7950GX2, the game stayed above 60fps on the low end, and tread between 45-60fps in the middle sections. The high end brought it down to under 30fps. While fps isn't critical for an MMO, this test was purely a "scenery" test, and combat with all of its action and particles would certainly bring the scores down even further.

The 9800GX2 tracked right along with the 7950GX2 in the low end. It started to separate itself at 1440x900, and produced a significant performance gap 1680x1050 and beyond. Between 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 (the mainstream of widescreens), the 9800GX2 added 20-30fps. This represented a 30%-60% increase, basically 1/3 - 2/3 more frames. The performance delta pinched a bit at 3072x768, with the 9800GX2 being hit with the super-wide aspect of Surround Gaming; and considering the 7950GX2 still posted average framerates above 40fps at this resolution. But, performance more than doubled at the 4M pixel mark, with the 9800GX2 averaging 67fps at 2560x1600.

For the test, I tried to find a place where I could make a run, and not be molested by wandering mobs or high traffic. I found a place at the Hunting Lodge, outstide of Archet. This is right outside the starting area in Breeland. I picked a run that would highlight some water effects, along with some foliage. It's not necessarily impressive, but it was repeatable; it still managed to showcase a good performance gap in the cards. The test was run with settings at "Ultra High" with 4xAA. Just to show how punishing the "Ultra High" setting is, when dropping the setting to "Very High," my frames at 2560x1600 jumped from 67fps to 90fps+. That represents a 50% performance increase, with just a slight decline in the visuals.