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Top Holiday Games of 2008 Graphics Shootout - Page 2 of 6

TEST SYSTEM

The test system is not high-end by today's standards, but it gets the job done when gaming at high-definition resolutions. At resolutions beyond 1080, the GPU is of more importance than the CPU in the ability of a system to deliver optimal graphics performance.

However, one should match a high-end GPU with a high-end CPU in order to achieve a balanced gaming PC. The type of GPU is often dictated by your monitors (LCD) native resolution. For example, you typically would not require a high-end GPU if the monitors native resolution is only 1680x1050, unless 8x or higher levels of antialiasing are planning to be used.

Hardware and Operating System

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 - 3.0GHz Wolfdale Core - 6MB L2 Cache - 1333MHz FSB
  • BFG nForce 680i SLI Motherboard
  • 4GB Corsair XMS PC8500 DDR2 SDRAM 5-5-5-18-2T @ 400MHz
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Thermaltake ToughPower 1200W Power Supply
  • Dell 3007WFP LCD Monitor

Although we primarily use Windows XP we do occasionally venture into Windows Vista.

  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 / DirectX 9.0c
  • Windows Vista 64-bit with Service Pack 1 / DirectX 10

Graphics Cards, Drivers, and Driver Settings

  • EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition
  • ForceWare Beta 180.47
  • Quality Texture Filtering
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition
    Please click to enlarge.

  • PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB
  • Catalyst 8.11
  • Catalyst AI Enabled
  • PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB
    Please click to enlarge.

  • 32-Bit Color
  • Vsync Disabled
  • 60Hz Refresh Rate

GAMES TESTED

The following information describes how each game in this comparison was benchmarked. Antialiasing and anisotropic texture filtering were always controlled by the application and the highest quality in-game graphics settings were used.

Call of Duty: World at War

Call of Duty: World at War was tested under a gameplay scenario and consisted of playing approximately two minutes into the intro level. Repeating the scenario turned out to be fairly consistent from run to run.

Call of Duty: World at War
Please click to enlarge.

Dead Space

To test Dead Space, the introduction cut-scene, which is based on the graphics engine, was used. Playback began when the crew initially appears on the bridge in the spacecraft and ends when the screen blacks out after the spacecraft crashes. Performance in Dead Space would typically be higher than these results since most of the game takes place in an indoor environment. Although antialiasing was enabled via the in-game graphics options menu, it did not seem to to be working on either graphics card.

Dead Space
Please click to enlarge.

For Fallout 3, we ran though a section of Dupont Circle with god-mode enabled. Ultra-quality graphics were enabled.

Fallout 3
Please click to enlarge.

In Far Cry 2, part of the jeep ride during the introduction, where the player is taken to the hotel in Pala, was used. Ultra-high graphics were enabled and tests were run under Windows XP (DirectX 9) and Windows Vista (DirectX 10).

Far Cry 2
Please click to enlarge.

Left 4 Dead uses the updated Episode 2 Source engine (Half-Life 2) so we were able to record a gameplay demo and play it back using the timedemo command. Gameplay takes place in the Subway level.

Left 4 Dead
Please click to enlarge.

Next Page: Game Performance at 1680x1050

Last Updated on November 22, 2008


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