by Rob Williams on May 5, 2008 in Graphics & Displays
Looking for excellent gaming performance but also want to keep PC noise to a minimum? The EN9600GT Silent from ASUS is the card to buy. It couples the power of the 9600 GT with pure silence, and costs little more than the stock model, making it a great choice for either the HTPC or desktop.
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.
Like Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the EN9600GT Silent handled up to 1920×1600 just fine. At 2560×1600, the gameplay was playable, but sluggish in certain areas. Though 30FPS seems entirely playable, the real gameplay said different. However, with the game at 2560×1600 with lesser texture settings, the performance would improve.