Company of Heroes DX10 comparison

Written by bit-tech Staff

June 20, 2007 | 12:01

Tags: #10 #company #company-of-heroes #directx #dx #heroes #patch #vista #world-war #wwii

How does it perform?

Not content with just looking at the graphical effects, we wanted to know what this cost us in terms of performance. In addition, this might also give us a very early indication as to how the DirectX 10 landscape is shaping up. Of course though, as with any early version of a new graphics API, it's impossible to determine a "winner" based on one title that started life out as a DirectX 9 game.

This is highlighted even more by the fact that DirectX 10 is a complete overhaul of Direct3D and isn't just an evolution like we've seen in past updates.

For our performance tests, we pitted AMD's ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT against Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB and BFGTech's GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB OC on our standard test systems with all graphical details set to their maximum values.
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (operating at 2.93GHz - 11x266MHz)
  • Intel D975XBX2 "BadAxe" motherboard (975X Express) / Asus Striker Extreme motherboard (nForce 680i SLI)
  • 2 x 1GB Corsair XMS2-8500C5 (operating in dual channel at DDR2-800 with 4-4-4-12 timings)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Enermax Galaxy DXX 1000W PSU
  • Windows Vista Ultimate x86
  • Intel Chipset Software v. 8.3.0.1013 WHQL / Nvidia nForce standalone v. 15.00 WHQL
  • ATI Catalyst 7.5 WHQL / Nvidia Forceware 158.45.
The reason why we've chosen two different versions of the GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB is that the Radeon HD 2900 XT splits the two when it comes to price, since you can pick up a standard clocked Leadtek PX8800 GTS 640MB for £227.81 (inc. VAT), while the cheapest Radeon HD 2900 XT we have found is Sapphire's at £244.43 (inc. VAT). Finally, BFGTech's 8800 GTS 640MB OC can be purchased for around £254.06 (inc. VAT).

First we tested DirectX 9.0 performance at 1920x1200, to give ourselves a starting point...

Company of Heroes - DirectX 9.0

1920x1200 0xAA 16xAF, Maximum Quality (high terrain)

  • ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
  • BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 640MB
    • 86.3
    • 25.0
    • 58.9
    • 24.0
    • 62.9
    • 26.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Frames Per Second
  • Average
  • Minimum

Company of Heroes - DirectX 9.0

1920x1200 2xAA 16xAF, Maximum Quality (high terrain)

  • ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
  • BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 640MB
    • 66.5
    • 17.0
    • 57.7
    • 24.0
    • 58.9
    • 25.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Frames Per Second
  • Average
  • Minimum

Company of Heroes - DirectX 9.0

1920x1200 4xAA 16xAF, Maximum Quality (high terrain)

  • ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
  • BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 640MB
    • 59.3
    • 7.0
    • 52.9
    • 23.0
    • 55.7
    • 22.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Frames Per Second
  • Average
  • Minimum

The performances of these cards under DirectX 9.0 is fairly familiar, so we don't really need to go over it again. Essentially, the Radeon HD 2900 XT has a massive lead with anti-aliasing disabled, but when it's turned on, Nvidia's cards start to recover some ground. However, neither the stock or pre-overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS cards manage to match the performance of the HD 2900 XT - you'd be pushed to notice the difference in this game at almost 60fps though.

DirectX 10 performance:

Under DirectX 10, we tested performance at the same settings - 1920x1200 4xAA 16xAF with high terrain details before moving onto Ultra terrain quality.

Company of Heroes - DirectX 10

1920x1200 4xAA 16xAF, Maximum Quality (high terrain)

  • ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
  • BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 640MB
    • 21.1
    • 6.0
    • 22.3
    • 3.0
    • 23.8
    • 5.0
0
5
10
15
20
25
Frames Per Second
  • Average
  • Minimum

Ouch, the performance hit is pretty huge, with roughly only one third of the performance we had under DirectX 9.0!

Company of Heroes - DirectX 10

1920x1200 4xAA 16xAF, Maximum Quality (ultra terrain)

  • ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
  • BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 640MB
    • 19.1
    • 4.0
    • 21.5
    • 4.0
    • 22.6
    • 5.0
0
5
10
15
20
25
Frames Per Second
  • Average
  • Minimum

With Ultra terrain details enabled, the performance drops again, but the deficit isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things... Unfortunately though, you're not going to achieve playable frame rates with current drivers at 1920x1200 4xAA and Ultra terrain details. You can just about get away with framerates in the high 20s, but it'll still be a bit jerky.
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