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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  • eljefeII - Saturday, October 22, 2005 - link

    yeah, x1800 looks like a flop for the most part. and it doesnt exist.
    kinda gay
  • ryanlopez4550 - Saturday, October 22, 2005 - link

    but games like this make up for the lower settings

    my friend came over last night and we played online FEAR for 6 hours

    He has a comp i built him with a 6600gt and it ran great on some custom setting and didnt look at all sub par. Didnt lag ONCE all night. The test program in the game is really cool to so now i dont have to sit there with fraps and stuff on for ever

    multi player - the gameplay is so fast most of the time there is NO time for you to admire the scenery
  • boyer00 - Saturday, October 22, 2005 - link

    it says how the geforce 7800 is basically the only card to run it at the highest end, i just ordered a alienware about a week ago with, dual geforce 7800GTX-KO's, and a 19"LCD monitor, 4 gig DDR2 ram and 3.2 dual core question is do i have anything to worry about in the upcoming months/year graphically? Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, October 23, 2005 - link

    Since you are probably limited to 1280x1024 on your 19" LCD then you are fairly safe. However, the 840D will have issues in providing enough data (the GPUs will have wait states) for the 7800GTX SLI setup at the higher resolutions such as 1600x1200 in case you decide to change monitors. I have found the 7800GTX SLI setup and the 840EE to run Fear at 1280x1024 (960) without too much of an issue. Reply
  • Regs - Saturday, October 22, 2005 - link

    The answer to this question is always yes. You just bought a excellent system to play today's games. Not tomorrows games. Reply
  • ryanlopez4550 - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    i have a 7800 gtx at 490-1300 and a gig of ram and a 3200 amd...

    i tested the game out on the MIN. settings... direct x 7 and such (looked like duke nukem) and i got a max of 60 a min of 58 and an average of 59

    everything else runs HORRIBLY!
  • ryanlopez4550 - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link


    tried to get the new drivers for my 7800gtx

    its telling me i dont have the right drivers for my hardware... ?????????

    well anywho i uninstalled them all and reinstalled them so i have the old old drivers and now the game runs like normal

    'high' and 'high' settings got me a min. of 54 and a max of 214
  • ryanlopez4550 - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    ok just tried it again

    max setting (1024x768) soft shadows and 4x16x i got an average of 23 fps

    so i lower the settings... soft shadows off and 2x8x and i get the same results...
  • Kung Lau - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    Is there any way to get a poll of AT forum viewers and establish which cards get tested on bleeding edge software? Wouldn't that help us see data that pertains to the majority of us. I understand that you can't evaluate every possible card/model/resolution variation but a current reader based poll may help.
  • fogeyman - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    Post in the forums. Reply

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