Test Setup

As with our last game article, we grouped the performance tests into three different categories: low-end, mainstream/midrange, and high-end graphics performance. However, we only have one benchmark for Rainbow Six: Vegas, which will mean fewer numbers. In two of the three sections, the low-end and mainstream/midrange, we have performance results for the game at both highest and lowest quality settings. We chose the same types of cards from ATI and NVIDIA for testing this game as with Double Agent, and we used these solutions because they cover a broad spectrum of current-generation cards at different performance levels.

The NVIDIA cards we tested Vegas with are the 7300 GT, 7600 GS, 7600 GT, 7900 GS, 7950 GT, 7900 GTX, and the 8800 GTS and GTX. From ATI, we have the X1300 XT, X1650 Pro, X1650 XT, X1900 XT 256, and X1950 XTX. We are happy to report that unlike with Double Agent, Rainbow Six: Vegas runs on the 8800 without any strange graphical artifacts at all. Also, because the game doesn't yet officially support SLI, the 7950 GX2 doesn't see the type of performance in this game that it should, and so it was omitted from our tests. We would have very much liked to have seen how quad SLI handled the game, but unfortunately we will have to wait and hope a patch or driver update will allow this. The 7300 GS performed so poorly with this game that it wasn't included in our tests, and needless to say we don't recommend trying to play Rainbow Six: Vegas on this card. In fact, any current card that costs under $125 is going to have difficulties unless you run at lowest quality settings and a low resolution.

Here is the system we used for our performance tests.

System Test Configuration
CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93GHz/4MB)
Motherboard: EVGA nForce 680i SLI
Intel BadAxe
Chipset: NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI
Intel 975X
Chipset Drivers: Intel (Intel)
NVIDIA nForce 9.35
Hard Disk: Seagate 7200.7 160GB SATA
Memory: Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 (1GB x 2)
Video Card: Various
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.10
NVIDIA ForceWare 96.97
NVIDIA ForceWare 91.47 (G70 SLI)
Desktop Resolution: 2560 x 1600 - 32-bit @ 60Hz
OS: Windows XP Professional SP2

High-End Performance

As we saw with other games like Oblivion and Double Agent, Rainbow Six: Vegas performs better on ATI cards than NVIDIA ones at the same price point. This is something that can possibly change as drivers are updated and game patches are released in the future. Something to keep in mind is in our benchmark for Vegas, average FPS of a little over 20 will mean relatively smooth frame rates throughout most of the game. There will however be times when action gets heated and you will experience choppiness on cards that score less than ~30 FPS in our particular benchmark scenario.

High End

We can easily see from these results how much performance NVIDIA's 8800 series of cards are capable of over the rest of the competition. ATI doesn't actually have any direct competition to the 8800 right now, so those wanting the fastest performance in this or basically any other game will have to go with NVIDIA. (Don't plan on running the beta/release candidate of Vista on 8800 cards right now, however, as the Vista drivers are still not finalized.) This shows how, as we said earlier, the 8800 GTS and GTX are the only two cards that can really run the game smoothly at the highest resolution with the highest quality settings enabled.

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. Similarly, the 7900 GTX, as powerful as it is, just can't manage acceptable performance in the game at 1600x1200 at reference speeds, but at one resolution down it looks and plays fine.

Setting Expectations Mainstream/Midrange Performance


View All Comments

  • kreacher - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    I would love to see an update on this article once the 2600 has been released. Reply
  • SGTLindy - Saturday, December 30, 2006 - link

    it runs better on ATI and does not have many graphics options because its a Xbox 360 port!!

    Runs great on the 360....runs slower on the PC....wow that was tuff to figure out.

    Gears of War looks better on the U3 engine because...the GOW team made the U3 engine...if anyone is going to know how to tweak a U3 based game it would be them, especially since the engine just came out.

    None of this is rocket science.
  • Sharky974 - Friday, December 29, 2006 - link

    There is a user over at B3D saying his Rainbow Six Vegas box (he also provided a photo) says Unreal engine 2, NOT Unreal engine 3. And his photo backs that up. Apparantly R6 might be a "UE2.5" game.

    Anand wouldn't be the only site to make that mistake, but you guys might wanna look into it..
  • bisket - Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - link

    exactly, rocky.

    the heli rides do not tax my system at all. it's during levels that i have the *oh so very annoying* fps random drops to 20 from 60.

    i just hope this is not a growing trend in games. enough said. anandtech rocks! ;)
  • R0CKY - Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - link

    Was benchmarking the heli ride in these test really the best way to test Vegas performance? What percentage of the game is actually spent flying in a heli, and is testing the part of the game where the player switches off and doesn't really care what is going on in game the best part of the game to test?

    I appreciate there was no easy way to benchmark due to there being no in-game system to replay the same scene more than once, but at the end of the day it is the game's performance during firefights and urban scenes that is of interest to the gamer, not level-transition heli rides.

    Is it valid to assume that the engines rednering performance is the same for detailed character models as it is for long draw/low detail high altitude scenes?

    Rather than settling for an easily reproducible scene of little revelance, personally I'd would have liked to have seen something a bit more relevant tested, even if it took some ingenuity to come up. It is possible to get quite accurate comparisons, for example, by simply recording the FPS as a character runs the same path through a level several times - at least that way we'd get a report showing FPS from scenes the player is interested in, rather than unimportant heli rides.

    That comes of like a bit of a rant, but it is meant to be constructive comment, honest!


  • mlambert890 - Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - link

    Weird, but to be honest, I actually do better in game (even during fire-fights), then in that heli ride. My thinking was that the engine isnt particularly efficient at rendering the wide-open city scape.

    With an FX-60 o/c to 2.8Ghz and an X1900XTX@650/775 and 2GB PC3200 I get 30-40fps on the heli ride, but I very rarely dip below 45fps in game. A couple of the big fights dropped into the 20's but it didnt really disrupt play that badly. Gameplay for 90% of the game ended up better than the heli ride bench would have implied.

    If you're interested, AMDZone did an R6:V bench using an avg of in-game framerates rather than the heli ride:

  • VooDooAddict - Monday, February 19, 2007 - link

    thanks for the link to that review. Especially like the Single Core vs Dual Core and Dual Core vs Quad. Reply
  • anandtech02148 - Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - link

    Gears of War got excellent lighting n shadows,
    worst unreal 3 engine game... REd orchestra.
    i like the first paragraph of this article, It hit the spot, consider i have downloaded 2Gig of patches for BF2!!!
    considered games now break the $100 easily for a title.
  • bisket - Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - link

    i don't see really, how this game can get that much praise.

    1. first off no widescreen support for pc except with a hack.

    2. imo i thought graw look a heck of a lot better then this. i hate ports from consoles to pc they dumb it down too much.

    3. i'm running a 8800gtx with a c2d 6600 with 2 gigs of pc6400 ram. and this game game me a good 60 fps (1920x1200 everything maxed with widescreen hack) in some areas. in some areas my fps droped to 20 which is unexceptable and just plain dumb. why? maybe because it's just a port and not optimized, i don't care if it's the unreal 3 engine or not, i'm not impressed.

    4. before i bash it too hard, i do have to say that despite it's major flaws the game is fun and could be *tons* better.

    5. i took this over to a friends house that has the dell 30" and same setup as me (8800gtx and whatnot) and we could not establish a framerate over 30fps, which is just ridiculous. i do not look forward to future pc games that are ported from a console. i will be saving my money next time.

    6. why all the low-res texture nonsense? and low geometry? i just don't get it.

    7. also, praise for the smoke? it looks bad (as in, not good), IMHO.

    i give this game a 5.5 out of 10.

    summary: decent graphics with major glitches and major fps drops in random places. fun gameplay. have fun playing online when it doesn't crash. very cool cover system and nice enemy ai.

  • 100proof - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    8.) Ingame advertising ---> spyware..


    My question is why don't Review sites like Anandtech hold game publishers like EA and Ubisoft accountable for this new trend of double dipping? Why also aren't publishers held accountable for not having information about spyware on outside of the packaging?

    Credit goes to SlipperyJim for info/screencaps below

    This shows traffic from when you double click the game icon to when it says "Press any key to begin:

    Traffic from when you select "Multiplayer > Online":

    Traffic from when you login with your Username and Password:

    Traffic when you get a list of games:

    The interesting locations seems to be "locate.madserver.net" and Demonware.

    "madserver.net" is Massive Incorporated server. This is the server for in-game adverts. If you add "locate.madserver.net" to your Windows host file it appears to block the in-game advertising. Below is a link to how it is blocked in Swat 4 (follow the same method but add "locate.madserver.net" to the list):


    DemonWare is a company that offers matchmaking services (probably just like Gamespy in that they will check your CD key and maintain a master server list of available games). It also is a company that has lobby advertising and also offers something called "DemonWare DNA" which sounds a lot like spyware. Frown


    The most shocking part was next. The client contacted madserver to tell the advertisers how long the gamer spent with each advert in their view. This is mapped to the gamer id, so they know which player in the game saw the advert, and when, for how long, and from how far away (by virtue of the size attribute). Even the average viewing angle is passed back.

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