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

    I usually don't trust gamespot for their Hardware testing but until Anandtech comes up with a more complete test you can find more information here http://hardware.gamespot.com/Story-ST-x-2661-x-x-x">Gamespot

    They are testing differente CPU speed, graphic settings and RAM sizes.
  • smaky - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    You are correct. There is no excuse for not including the x850 pe. Judgin from Gamespot's review, the x850 did well. Come on guys, lets see numbers for the x850! I have one and am a ATI fanboi for the moment. LOL Reply
  • photoguy99 - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    >lets see numbers for the x850!

    I would complain to ATI they are the ones pushing the heck out of new products they don't even have for sale. It's only natural this makes people more interested in X1000 line.

  • peldor - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    OK so the highest graphics settings on FEAR are completely unplayable at any decent resolution for most of us, much like the 'Ultra' quality settings in Doom3 when it came out.

    What about all the other settings? I suspect the 'highest' settings make little difference to the visuals, but seriously cut the framerate versus the 'high' setting.

    At least a couple of benchmarks and screenshots to compare the medium/high/highest settings would be nice.
  • poohbear - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    why are u guys using nvidia beta drivers? should'nt u test w/ only official drivers? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    I would think the complaint should be against the beta ATI drivers which are a press sample that is completely unavailable to the public in any form. At least people can download and install the 81.85 drivers from NVIDIA.

    In all honesty, we used unavailable FEAR enhanced drivers for ATI because NVIDIA simply performed better and we didn't want to see complaints about the 81.85 driver... But I guess you can't always get what you want. :-)
  • Le Québécois - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Anychance you could e-mail me those press sample driver for ATI? :P Reply
  • Le Québécois - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    Oups...you read my mind Derek. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    I've an update -- the driver we used is available here:


    and was listed as a fix for serious sam II. It's the 5.10a driver and was posted yesterday for public consumption.
  • Bingo13 - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link

    The 81.85 drivers will be WHQL approved and on Nvidia's website later today. Reply

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