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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  • 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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