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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [05.24.05]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte
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Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory

SC3 is the newest, and one of the most technologically advanced games we'll be testing today.

It supports SM3, something only GeForce 6 series cards can do at this point. Unfortunately for cards that don't support SM3, the only other option is version 1.1.

By way of SM3, the game also supports HDR lighting effects. You really have to see screenshots to fully appreciate this... Check out Beyond3D's writeup of Splinter Cell 3's effects for more information on that.

So keep in mind that no matter how these cards perform in our tests (where HDR is disabled, but SM3 is used to enhance performance on cards that support it), the game looks a LOT better on the GeForce cards.

As you can see, the 6800 GT outperforms the X800XL by quite a margin. Although for some reason the 6600 GT doesn't benefit from SM3 quite as much. Performance is severely lacking in that card.

Enabling filtering allows the ATI cards to catch up, but in 1024x768 not a single one of the cards tested is able to maintain an average of 60 fps in our timedemo.

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