Introduction

We have been excited about lots of new games being released and we've had our hands full testing and playing as many as we can. Starting with games like Battlefield 2, we've been seeing some big advancement in game graphics even within the past few months. Black and White 2, in particular, impressed us recently with its amazing images of water and overall environments. We are always excited about a game that has beautiful looking graphics and rich gameplay as well, and it seems like this is happening more often lately, much to our delight. The Call of Duty 2 demo also has us all giddy, and it looks and plays great, even if it is frustratingly short.

Some other games that have us waiting in anticipation are Quake 4 and Age of Empires 3. We wish that we had some good demos of these games, but unfortunately we have to wait for the release date like everyone else. It seems like the bar is being raised higher and higher with new games in terms of graphics that video card manufacturers might have trouble keeping up, and this past Tuesday, with the release of FEAR, the bar was raised a very significant notch. Yes, FEAR is out, and it is beautiful.

We recently sat down and tested FEAR with the 1.01 patch that came out the day on which the game was released. We also tested with the absolute latest drivers from ATI (press sample 8.183.1017 which should be available in catalyst soon) and NVIDIA (81.85 available on nzone now), both of which offer increased performance in FEAR. Our results were interesting to say the least, and we'll give you the details on how this game performs on a wide range of boards, including ATI's new X1000 line.

While the single and multiplayer demos of this game have been available for quite some time, we had the (quite correct) understanding that final performance would not look anything like what the demo showed. Today, readers can rest assured that the numbers that we have collected will be an accurate reflection of FEAR performance on modern hardware.

The Game/Test setup
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  • xsilver - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    6800gt's are high mid range cards, whereas the ultras are not good value pricewise... plus not many people have them

    the card that is missing is the 16 pipe last gen ATI cards, x800 pro/xt etc...
    could that card be added please?

    also, people might want a point of reference for old systems that want to see their card splutter on this game (9800pro / 5900fx) -- it would be great to see if these cards are still playable since they are using ps2.0 and generally older tech
    Reply
  • ZobarStyl - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Because more people have GT's than Ultras and it's not too terribly hard to extrapolate out the change between the two. Reply
  • Bingo13 - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Very good article, would 2gb of ram help in this game as it does in BF2? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    this game is very GPU limited, as you can tell by how steeply the resolution scaling graphs drop off. The game won't run at over 1600x1200 without a little hacking.

    We will look into testing with more RAM, but our initial thought is that performance (especially at higher resolutions or with AA enabled) will not be incredibly affected by RAM. We will update the article if we find anything.
    Reply
  • Z3dd - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    What about http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/video/giga-1.h...">this issue?
    Scoll down to the analasysis of local videomemory usage in F.E.A.R.

    Though their conclusion is that F.E.A.R is so taxing on the GPU that you won't
    notice that your card runs out of local memory.
    Reply

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