In the test 15 years ago: Unreal Tournament 2003 on the computers of the community

In the test 15 years ago: Unreal Tournament 2003 on the computers of the community

tl; dr: 15 years ago, not a PC game was expected so eagerly like Unreal Tournament 2003. As Epic Games on September 14 at 4:00 am, the demo released for download, called Computer Base on the collective “benchmarking”. The results of 60 systems gave detailed conclusions on the system requirements.

Unreal Tournament 2003 as a demo

Exactly 15 years ago, PC gamers were waiting for a particular title: Unreal Tournament 2003. The game was only on 27 September 2002 to come into the trade. But on September 14th at 4:00 am German time, Epic Games of the fan community threw a 100 MB Appetithappen: a free demo with four cards, all weapons and all game modes – today rather unusual.

  • Download: Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo

But quickly it was clear: ” In the face of the hardware requirements, many users seem to be the joy of shooting is not possible without restriction. “The discussion, which had already begun while waiting for the demo, continued to boil.

I think CB has never had so many comments in so few minutes (hours) … LOL … I’m going to play jez ne round Q3 …..

In order to get to the bottom of the requirements, ComputerBase was not yet able to access a wide range of processors and graphics cards in the interior of the magazine “Asservatenkammer” three years after its founding. So the community ran. The first time in this form.

Swarm test with the integrated benchmark

In order to release the demo, the editorial team therefore called on all readers to go through the test with and without bots using the integrated benchmark and to transmit the results by specifying CPU, graphics card and memory, as well as possible clock rates that deviate from the standard. Be tested in the demanding resolution with 1,024 × 768 pixels. The details were fixed by the benchmark.exe integrated in the demo. The test went through two of the four cards without opponents as well as the two other cards with a duel between bots.

Already on the Sunday evening, one day after the publication, the article “Unreal Tournament 2003: 60 Calculator in benchmark comparison” was able to present comprehensive insights into the performance requirements. For users with older or less powerful hardware, however, the result was sobering. Unreal Tournament required for over 40 FPS after a very fast GPU and with the still often used bots the performance even on the fastest CPUs to the knees.

GeForce4 and Radeon 9700 Pro clear in front

Without Bot opponents the top-of-the-range Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600, 4400 or GeForce4 Ti 4200 with NV25 and the ATi Radeon 9700 Pro were at the top. With the widespread because relatively cheap GeForce3 Ti 200, the performance was already significantly lower and the GeForce 2 MX had no chance at all. With Kyro II from PowerVR it looked a bit better.

  • More about: Introducing the GeForce4: nVidia strikes back

With bots the performance fell clearly

If, however, the computer-controlled bots came into the game, the average FPS on all systems would break down significantly. Instead of the top 200, the figure was only 70 FPS. Some places in the ranking could make the systems with the fastest CPUs (and RDRAM), while computers with fast graphics card but slower CPU fell back. Overall, however, the performance level was significantly lower. Over 40 FPS, there was reliably only with fast CPU and faster GPU.

The statement ” The game depends very much on CPU speed, memory bandwidth and cache performance ” from the readme could be underpinned by the community and extended to the aspect ” and in high resolutions a very fast GPU “.

A successful experiment

Readers benchmark a game in the swarm, ” is that? The answer was 15 years ago only ” Yes! “Are. Of course, the reported results were each to be enjoyed with caution. Did the information on the system agree? Was the resolution set correctly in the game? Did another application stop the computer? Looking at the results, there is still room for doubt in many places. The mass of results gave a clear picture in the end.

Further tests from 15 years ago

In the category “In the test 15 years ago”, since July 2017 the editors have looked into the test archive every Saturday. So far in this series have appeared:

  • As Bluetooth on the PC was usable
  • CD burner with 48x on the last groove
  • Intel’s Pentium 4 scratches at the 3.0 GHz
  • EPoX puts Rambus under pressure with DDR333
  • As fast RAM DDR333 or DDR400 was called
  • The cradle of Shuttle’s barebone
  • A GeForce4 Ti 4600 with 3D shutter glasses and powerful cooling
  • Dual-socket motherboards for AMD Athlon MP
  • External HDD with 20 GB and 16 MB / s for 249 Euro

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I'm an avid gamer and a bit of a Ninja when it comes to gadgets and technology. When I'm not busy with the latest Android and iOS games.

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