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Gainward GeForce PowerPack! Ultra/650-8X XP “Golden Sample” - Page 12 Of 17

Serious Sam: First Encounter Performance

Released in 2001, Serious Sam is one of the most popular first person shooters with a powerful 3D engine. Realistic effects and great game play contributed to this titles success among gamers. Here are some of the features:

Fast frantic action - Fighting with loads of enemies at the same time

Serious Sam is filled with loads of enemies. This is possible with the latest engine technology. It is possible to have 50+ enemies in one scene, with everyone firing, running, jumping and screaming at the same time. This feature is not extensively used in any 3D action so far, because technology didn't allow it. But, with our Serious engine this is now possible. It is used primarily in open spaces, where it is possible to put hundreds of enemies in one playground.

Both huge outdoor and indoor environments

All levels in the game are vast. The engine was designed to support both indoor and outdoor areas in a creative mixture, with each level spreading on up to 1000 cubic miles. There is a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor environments. The indoor levels are done with rendering techniques more powerful than other present engines. Outdoor sections are new and never before seen in any other FPS. They are big, long and provide hours of just walking and days of playing.

Bright and beautiful surroundings

In Serious Sam there are very bright and easy-to-see levels. This is possible because of newest 3d technology which allows complex architecture, multi-texturing, sunlight, ...You don't have to adjust brightness/contrast to properly see the scenes, and the scenery/architecture provides visual pleasure while playing the game.

This game has been included with the card. My only gripe is to why wasn't Serious Sam: Second Encounter included instead? Not that it makes any difference when it comes to graphics (I heard there are some improvements, but I haven't noticed any, except for different maps), but it would be nice to see a newer version...and here is why:

I went through hell trying to upgrade the game with the latest patch. "Out of the box" version didn't present well. There were texture / fog corruptions (sometimes missing textures) and overall bad performance:

Version 1.05 seemed to fix most of the problems. I only tested the game on the first few maps, so I can't tell how other levels looked. Okay so now that we have the patched installed, let's take a look at some benchmarks.

P4: 1.6A @ 2.39GHz / 512MB PC2100 / Stock Gainward Ti4600
AMD: Athlon XP 1900+ @ 1.6GHz / 512MB PC2100 / Stock Gainward Ti4200
*Extreme Quality: everything set to high after executing the addon script.

The Croteam did an awesome job with the 3D engine. The game runs very smoothly even with highest IQ settings at high resolution (1280x1024). Appealing effects and rich environments didn't seem to degrade the performance. Out of all the games we've tested, I believe this is the only game that doesn't stutter when 4X AA 2X AF and 1280x1024 are applied. Serious Sam has been nicely optimized for those pimped out (and not so pimped out) AMD systems. The scores vary but this has to do with the fact that the P4 system is running a much faster card (Ti4600). Does that mean you will not be satisfied with Gainward's 650-XP ? Of course not. The card is a charm for the price.

Some high scores without AA and AF to start you off. We were getting around 113 FPS (1024x768) and roughly 111 at 1280x768. Not a heck of a difference between those two. In both cases the game ran like a dream. Okay, let us apply some Antialiasing. Again not bad, totally smooth animations (no screen tearing, even without vsync). Now the third benchmark is quite interesting (2X AA, 2X AF). Notice higher/same scores for 800x600/1024x768. The last two tests (4X AA 0X AF and 4X AA 2X AF) are almost identical. Applying Anisotropic filtering didn't produce any major bottleneck for the card.

You are probably thinking "who cares! it's an old game". Well it is, but you can't deny the fact that those guys made a heck of a 3D engine. Now to the last part...the ultimate settings for Serious Sam: First Encounter are......*suspense* Resolution 1280x1024 2X AA 2X AF or 1024x768 with 4X AA and 2X AF. Oh and don't forget to upgrade to the latest version.


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Last Updated on April 12, 2003

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