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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  • dev0lution - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    How is it that the X800XL is consistantly left out of the benchmarks? You have multiple ATI cards in the test that aren't even available, but leave out one of their best sellers in this and plenty of other reviews. Reply
  • Avalon - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    I would not declare 30fps playable when your game settings involved sound disabled. No one is going to play with sound off, and thus their framerates will be even lower. This game runs like ass. I hope I can get my copy to run at all on my 6600 @ 400/700. Reply
  • Leper Messiah - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Fo' sho'.

    cmon AT, where's the SLi benchies? Can 2 7800GTX's run this game at 1600x1200 with AA/AF and sound?
  • aldamon - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    For the NVIDIA cards, was Forceware set to Quality or High Quality?

    Were Transparency AA and Gamma Correct AA turned on?

    If Transparency AA was turned on, was Multipsampling or Supersampling used?
  • Ender17 - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    is AnandTech ever going to get with the times and use 1920 x 1200 for all us widescreen users? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    In our most recent graphics performance article we did include 1920x1200

    For FEAR, the resolution is not an option (physically) and would have been too difficult to hack into existance.

    the game does not run widescreen resolutions. Check tweakguide for more details.
  • Le Québécois - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Normally I would agree but with FEAR why bother with 1920 when 1600 is barely an option. Reply
  • lexmark - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    very good read AT! New software benches makes me all gimpy inside :)

    I know im probably beating the dead horse here, but I was actually looking foward to purchasing a x1800XT for my main computer. (building one with a 7800GT for my son) :-) Now I either have to settle for the XL, jump on the 7800GTX bandwagon, or wait to mid-November :/

    As much as I love ATI products, I think they might have lost me as well as other customers who are tired of playing the waiting game.
  • lexmark - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    purchasing a card to play F.E.A.R. that is. Reply
  • lexmark - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Jeez i need a break. ><

    "I'M" purchasing a card to play F.E.A.R.that is.

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