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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  • dashrendar - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    I'm the only person on the face of the planet who's going to be able to play this game at 1600x1200 with everything set to max, with min 60 fps, and enjoy every dpi of its beauty... a year from now that is. Reply
  • Icehawk - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Personally I don't think the game looks all that great and once I set it so it is playable it looks pretty bad IMO - Quake 4 looks better and runs smoother at higher rez with more options.

    P4 3.4ghz, 1gb ram, 6600GT - I need to run it at 8x6 with everything on medium, no AA - it's fugly man.

    I'm sick of reviews with only the highest end gear - the 6600GT #s mean almost nothing to an actual owner, who has an FX processor and "only" a 6600?! Please start using TWO machines for these tests, one super mega rig for getting absolute #s and one average machine so users can see what they will REALLY get.
    Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    I have to agree with what others have said. Where are the X800 Pro/XL and X850 XT? Why test with ATI's new (unavailable) cards at the expense of the currently available ones and then dismiss tham as options because of availability issues? If you feel so strongly about it, refuse to test with them until they become available. Then we can all complain about the absence of testing with forthcoming cards! :) Sucks to be a reviewer and have to test 15 different cards to please most of us.

    Which brings me to my industry issue: How long can NV and ATI realistically continue to crank out new architectures every 6 months? Something has got to give. I think the worst case scenario is ending up in a single manufacturer situation. I keep hoping ATi pulls something out of their hat just for competition sake.

    Are the days of passively cooled cards over?! I haven't even gotten around to picking up Gigabyte's passively cooled X800XL and it's already becoming outdated :(
    Reply
  • flexy - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    >>>
    I have to agree with what others have said. Where are the X800 Pro/XL and X850 XT? Why test with ATI's new (unavailable) cards at the expense of the currently available ones and then dismiss tham as options because of availability issues? If you feel so strongly about it, refuse to test with them until they become available.
    >>>

    i totally agree. I just stuningly overflew the article and the charts where in the AA/AF tests (which are the ones which count) the 1800XT CLEARLY comes out a TAD faster than the 7800GTX.

    THEN - below i read: "We can only recommend 'saving up for a 7800GTX'.

    a)if you recommend 'saving for a 7800GTX' then i dont understand that you dont mention that the 1800XT might be available the same time when this person saved it's money going out for a GTX - and then XT would be faster

    b) having the XT in the charts and then dismiss it in the recommendations because availability is WEIRD. I UNDERSTAND, and we're all frustrated by ATI's paper launches and non-existing fantasy cards.....but, still..i THINK you would have done better if you'd waited a bit longer 'til the XT is an available product...instead of showing it in the graphs and then forget about it because it might take a few more weeks 'til they're available.

    ALSO - you as testers HAD one (XT)....so it doesnt make sense because you HAD the product in hands and compared it - and this was a real product which will be available soone (ehrm, i hope :) )and not some calculated "benchies" based on a totally differnt hardware.


    c) X850PE: For sure. Miss the numbers becausew i have one


    d) i think it would be worth to mention that, amongst all the hype, a engine which runs BARELY 40FPS on super-duper high-end cards realle "does not make much sense" - especially if opinions are split whether the gfx in it are REALLY *that* ground breaking. MAYBE - maybe this game engine is just really BAD and inefficient. Sorry...we're talking about high-end machines here with 2GB ram and top-notch gfx cards in the $500 range...and a mediocre resolution like 1280x doesnt get better than 40FPS ??? Not really a reason to rave.
    And as some said, there are similiar titles out with (subjective seen) on par (or even better) graphics which runs WAY faster.

    Reply
  • OrSin - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Why are review impressed when games need more graphic power? Can we be impressed with good graphics and lower requirements. It a shame when a $50 game need a $500 video card. And whats worste is that in year another will need the next $500 card. And all this to play maybe 5 FPS at most in the next year. Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Don't play the game or turn your settings down! It's pretty simple. I've been doing it for a long time as until last year, I couldn't even afford a midrange video card. Reply
  • Pythias - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Don't play the game or turn your settings down! It's pretty simple. I've been doing it for a long time as until last year, I couldn't even afford a midrange video card.

    Thats a great idea, except I just purchased an lcd. Mine doesnt play well with anything other than its native resolution.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Mine doesnt play well with anything other than its native resolution
    Well then you need to get crackin on that new video card! :)
    Reply
  • antiprnt - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Seemed like it was more of a 1800xt vs 7800 gtx article..all the other stuff mentioned was just a bonus, maybe thats why they didnt include sli in the mix.. Reply
  • latino666 - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/fear_performan...">They use the X800 XL . Not only that but when they review a game they do it in two different articles. One for mainstream and another for high-end. I would like to see Anandtech do the same. Reply

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