4xAA/8xAF Performance Tests

This is a good option for gamers with a high end card. Generally, the best way to get a better experience from a game is going to be increasing resolution. This is especially true of FEAR because the performance hit of enabling 4xAA is incredibly large. Much of FEAR is designed well to avoid noticeable aliasing (low contrast edges), and the most noticeable edges in the game are high contrast shadows.

When we enable 4xAA and 8xAF, the higher resolutions take an even bigger performance hit than with soft shadows (as we will see soon). At 1600x1200, the framerates of the 7800 GTX and GT are cut in half, making the game less enjoyable to play. At 1280x960, the 7800 GTX gets 39 fps, and the 7800 GT gets 33 fps; both of these are playable. The X1800 XL gets 32 fps at this resolution, which would also be playable. At lower resolutions, the cards didn't take as big of a performance hit with AA as with soft shadows enabled. You can see that all of these cards are playable at 800x600 except for the X1300 PRO, which is borderline at 640x480 with AA. Let's also make it clear that we stopped testing performance at higher resolutions when framerates dropped below 20 fps. Performance that bad or worse is simply useless.

No Soft Shadows and No AA/AF Performance Tests Soft Shadows Performance


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  • Le Québécois - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Like many peoples said it would have been nice to see older generation HW...especially on ATI side of thing since most of the card tested here are nowhere to be found on the market.

    Seeing performance with the X800XL and the X850XT would have been nice.

    I also hope you'll do some CPU testing in the future since I doubt you'll see many peoples out there with AMD FX55...especially paired up with the like of X1300... :)
  • Kogan - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Since the max upgrade for AGP users on the ATI side is an X800xt/x850xt, it would have been nice to have seen one of them included. Reply
  • ballero - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    I'm looking forward to the SLI numbers Reply
  • Abecedaria - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    It is a significant error that SLI numbers were left out of the article since it seems to be about how fast current video card technologies can play the game:
    "Those who want to play FEAR at the highest resolution and settings with AA enabled (without soft shadows) will basically have to use the 7800 GTX, as no other card available gets playable framerates at those settings, and the 7800 GTX does just barely (if uncomfortably)." ...unless you have an SLI setup, I assume. Does Anandtech feel that SLI is not a viable graphics technology or am I missing something?

    And then there's Crossfire... while it STILL isn't available yet, it would have been interesting to see some performance numbers along with SLI tests.

    I'd would be nice if you could update the article with dual card frame-rates.

  • Abecedaria - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Oh wait!!!!

    PC Perspective has already beat Anandtech to the punch on this subject, and the results show that SLI has a SIGNIFICANT impact on playability, even without any driver optimizations....


  • Ender17 - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    I agree. Can we get some SLI benchmarks? Reply
  • Kyanzes - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    ...to see a card performing on the top when it's not even available... Reply
  • 9nails - Saturday, October 22, 2005 - link

    Exactly! I love this Land of Make Believe. It's a good thing that I have a AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 2.6 GHz processor in my Desktop, Laptop, and PDA. And I'm loving it because after an unreal CPU like that, I would still have hundreds of dollars left to burn on make-believe GPU's. Because, if I was only a regular Joe Anad-reader with a middle tier Pentium 4 and old school AGP graphics port I would be quite upset that the author is targeting his reviews at the well connected Beverley Hills posh.

    Just who is Josh writing his articles for any way?! I'm going back to surfing pr0n. Because I have a far better chance at dating a porn* than owning a system like the one that he's showing scores on.
  • yacoub - Saturday, October 22, 2005 - link

    Well thanks for supporting the thread I started in Video forum section last week addressing that very issue. All the idiots came out of the woodwork to do their best to misinterpret and misread the post and very few actually bothered to support my suggestion that a test be done with a REAL WORLD system most of us own, not an FX-55 setup with a 7800GTX that few people own.

    I'd LOVE to see how modern games perform on a system I'm actually thinking of buying, not an imaginary supersystem.
  • deathwalker - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    You know..it's simply come to the point to where I don't know how the average gamer can keep up. It's come to the point to where if you are not willing to spend $300-$500 every 6-12 mos. or so you just can not keep up with the demands that games are putting on computer hardware. This is stupid..I mean who the hell is dragging this industry along? Do they develop new and more powerful hardware so more demanding software can be created or do they develop more demanding software making it a necessity to develop more powerful hardware? Is all this crap really needed to have a decent gaming experience? I guess I'm just gonna have to starve the Cat for the couple of months so I can toss out my POS 6800gt and get some new wizzbang graphics cards the industry wants me to buy. This has become a never ending process that is wearing thin on me. Reply

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