by Rob Williams on June 25, 2008 in Graphics & Displays
Proper competition from AMD in the mid-range scheme of things might have taken a while to happen, but it does happen with the HD 4000 series. We are taking a look at the smaller of the two new models, which offers exceptional performance for the price of $200.
Each graph for our benchmarking results are labeled with the resolution that the game was played at, while omitting secondary settings such as Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, texture quality, et cetera. To view all specific settings that we used, please refer to our testing methodology page, where screenshots show the exact settings used.
Post-apocalyptic FPS games have been done over and over, but S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl was unique in many ways. First was the fact that the story was loosely based off of a real-life tragedy, the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion, with the player starting out post-disaster working to survive in the now very brutal world.
One of the areas where the game excelled was with the depth. It was an open world with non-linear gameplay. AI was not top-rate, but reacted in a mostly realistic way, so it’s pretty much impossible to just stroll through the game and not expect to die. Coupled with the ability to keep an inventory and sell artifacts you find along your journey makes this game an immersive experience.
The level we use for our testing is a “Thumb Drive” mission that occurs earlier in the game. The premise is simple… walk into a small camp that’s being inhabited by enemy Stalkers, wipe them out and go deliver a thumb drive to a lone Stalker huddled around a campfire. The entire quest takes between four and five minutes from our starting point.
Settings: Static lighting and medium quality is used for our lowest resolution here, while 1920 and 2560 use full dynamic lighting along with high quality settings.
The 1680×1050 result here struck me a little, because 293FPS at that resolution is rather low for cards of that calibre. It might sound a bit ridiculous to say that 300FPS is low, because in reality, it’s far from it, but compared to cards on the same level, it was held back.
Things of course change as we increase our resolution, where the cards put on almost the same level as the higher-end 9-series cards from NVIDIA.