Introduction

We recently looked at performance with Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Double Agent and saw that although the game has some enjoyable gameplay elements, there were some technical problems at its release that couldn't be overlooked. When a consumer brings home a game for their PC that they've paid for with their hard-earned money, they should be able to enjoy that game without having to deal with things like crashing and incompatibility issues. Granted, it's not as easy to buy, setup and play a game for the PC as it is for a console system, and some would cite this as an incentive to go with a console gaming system instead of a PC. We feel however, that PCs have just as much if not more potential than consoles for providing incredible gaming experiences.

Of course, there is still the issue of hardware, and the fact is that good hardware is required to enjoy the best PC gaming has to offer. We've talked about Splinter Cell: Double agent, and today we are looking at another game by Ubisoft; the newly released Rainbow Six: Vegas (RSV). We'll be talking a little about the game and how it performs, and we're especially interested in it because it's one of the first games out now based on Unreal Engine 3.

Thankfully with Rainbow Six: Vegas, we found we didn't run into nearly as many of the problems and annoyances we did with Double Agent, and for the most part the game seems like a much more solid port of the Xbox 360 version, if this is in fact the case. It isn't perfect, however, and there are some issues that still should have been fixed before the game's release, but we'll talk about these later on.

Testing performance with Rainbow Six: Vegas was a little more straightforward than we saw with Splinter Cell: Double Agent, but we've tested the game on the same range of cards and we now have a good idea of the type of performance you can expect for this game. While it does break ground somewhat on the graphics engine front (being based on the Unreal Engine 3), it doesn't really do the same for GPU performance requirements (as with Oblivion), which is good news for those looking to buy Rainbow Six: Vegas. However, it can still tax most GPUs out there at higher resolutions and quality settings, and you will most likely need at least a mainstream graphics solution to enjoy the game. We'll give you the details on all this in the performance section.

Overall we were impressed with what we've seen in this latest addition to the Rainbow Six series, and we're sure many fans - as well as those not so familiar with the Rainbow Six series - will enjoy it. The overall graphical quality of the game is excellent, and puts games based on the older Unreal Engine 2 (like Splinter Cell: Double Agent) to shame. We enjoyed playing and testing Rainbow Six: Vegas, so without further ado, let's take a look at the game and our benchmark.

Settings and Benchmark Information
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  • ariafrost - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    Well forget about running it on my X850XT, apparently RSV *requires* a Pixel Shader 3.0 video card. If anyone could confirm/deny that information it'd be great, but for now it looks like a lot of ill-informed customers may end up buying a game their "128MB/256MB" video cards can't support. Reply
  • justly - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    quote:

    It's very evident looking at all of these tests how Rainbow Six: Vegas tends to favor ATI hardware, but again, keep in mind that because of patches and updates this may not (and hopefully won't) be the case for long.


    Anandtech always seems to have a problem when ever it can't recomend NVIDIA as the best solution in every senerio. What is so wrong with the idea that ATI hardware performs better than NVIDIA hardware of the same generation? Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought even Anandtech expected ATI might do better in newer games.
    Personally I'm not much of a gamer so it really doesn't matter to me, but fot the sake of the people using your articles to choose hardware why give them expectations that might not materialize?

    Maybe because I am not engrosed in the gamming experiance I have a different perspective, but considering a lot of games are ported over from consoles (or at least designed with consoles in mind) wouldn't it be reasonable to expect any game designed around a console using ATI graphics to favor ATI graphics on the PC? It wouldn't surprize me in the least to see games favoring (or at least more competitive) on hardware built around ATI for the next year or two.
    Reply
  • Jodiuh - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    Because it's happened before. Remember Oblivion? Reply
  • munky - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    Nothing happened. The 7-series still has much worse performance in Oblivion in outdoor scenes with foliage than equivalent Ati cards.
    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce...">http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce...
    Reply
  • Frumious1 - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    Try not to be so easily offended, Justly. I think the point Anandtech was trying to make is that they hope the performance gap can be reduced somewhat with driver/game updates. There are other games where NVIDIA outperforms ATI, but overall the 7900 GTX offers similar performance to the X1900 XT and not too much worse than the X1950 XT/XTX cards (I think). Another way of looking at this is that perhaps they just hope SM3 support doesn't turn into a GeForce FX fiasco again.

    So far, looks to me like ATI has better shader hardware. Ever read any of the stuff on the folding at home forums by their programmers? Basically, they have stated that G70 really has poor performance on their SM3 code even with optimizations... and it doesn't even look like G80 will be all that great. All that said, I still don't like ATI's drivers. CCC(P) is so sluggish it's pathetic, and that's after performance improvements since it first cam out.
    Reply
  • jediknight - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    I was hoping to see some of the last gen cards (err.. now with the 8800, I guess two gens old..) - as that's what I'm running with (with no hope of upgrading - as I'm with AGP right now.. )

    Specifically, if future reviews would consider the performance of the X800XL running at 1280x1024, I'll be happy :->
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    you need to have a SM3 card to play this game, as such, it won't even start on your card.

    not that I agree with that policy, they should have provided a SM2 path, not everybody has a ~1/1.5 years old card.
    Reply
  • jkostans - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    I think its pretty clear you'll be needing to run at 800x600 with med graphics, or 1024x768 with low graphics settings in order to get around 20 fps. Reply
  • Tanclearas - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    quote:

    The X1950 XTX almost runs the game smoothly at the highest settings, and with some overclocking, Vegas has a good chance of running perfectly fine at maximum details and 1600x1200 with this card. The 7900 GTX, as powerful as it is, just can't manage acceptable performance in the game at 1600x1200, but at one resolution down it looks and plays fine.


    At 1600 x 1200, the 7900GTX runs at 19.8 and the X1950XTX runs at 20.4 FPS. Given those numbers, the above quote doesn't really make much sense. Did I miss something?

    And just so people don't think I'm whining, or a fanboy, or whatever, I have an X1900XT (512MB). I am just honestly confused by the conclusion that the X1950XTX could handle 1600 x 1200 and the 7900GTX could not.
    Reply
  • Josh Venning - Monday, December 25, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the comment. The paragraph has been tweaked a little so that it's a little more clear. The fact is that both the X1950 XTX and 7900 GTX at reference speeds experience a little choppiness in the game at the highest resolution and quality settings. With some overclocking, either of these cards could run the game at these settings smoothly. Sorry for the confusion. Reply

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