F.E.A.R. Preview -
Being one of the most advanced game engines around at the moment and therefore putting quite a strain on all but the most capable systems, we here at Guru3d thought we should start looking into providing a few of our own results to give you an idea of how F.E.A.R. will run and look on your system and whether you need to get some last minute upgrades into that box before release day. Although the testing continues, I endeavoured to give you a quick look of performance numbers from the 6800SLI/FX-55 test rig used for all my gaming reviews. You can fully expect numbers to be added for other graphics cards and to be present and correct when our full game review goes live, but for now, take this as a rough guide to what you can expect.
The benchmark run were the Stress Test available in the multiplayer BETA, all tests were run at 1024x768, 1280x960 (1280x1024 not supported in the stress test) and to truly put the graphics cards in their place, the ultra high resolution of 1600x1200. Also note that F.E.A.R. does not have official Nvidia SLI support as yet, in the form of a profile, so a custom profile was set up to use AFR rendering mode as this provided marginally better performance over SFR. It is possible that by the time the game is released official SLI support will be there in the drivers, and you may notice a further boost in performance. This is speculation of course. All resolutions were tested with maximum in game IQ settings, 4xAA and 16xAF. We tested both with soft shadows enabled and disabled, for reasons you will see below.
As you can see, the game takes a fair system to run at decent FPS. One thing to note is that single handedly, soft shadows affect FPS more than anything else, after this, AA is the next culprit.
Even the 6800Ultra SLI configuration wasnt capable of returning even vaguely playable frame rates with soft shadows on at 1600x1200. The average frame rate of 20fps is pretty dire, and a minimum FPS of 4 was recorded, so I would seriously recommend dropping the soft shadows and the AA and AF to more acceptable levels to play at this resolution.
If you insist on playing with all the bells and whistles switched on, including soft shadows on a single 6800 ultra, you are going to have to sacrifice resolution down to 1024x768 to even stand a chance. However, drop the soft shadows, and lower the AA and AF, and you should be able to return playable frame rates at 1280x960. Personally, to me, the increase in resolution is preferable to higher levels of AA and even soft shadows, but this is subjective of course.
After playing through the demo a few times, on the test rig SLI 6800Ultra based setup I would recommend 1600x1200 2xAA and 4xAF as an ideal medium for this level of system with soft shadows disabled. This returned a FPS of around 60 in most places. If you insist on soft shadows, again, you will have to sacrifice resolution. I would expect a single 7800GTX to perform at similar levels, although you will have to wait until the full review for our official results. In fact it will be very interesting to see how other graphics cards will handle this challenge, especially the new Geforce 7 series configurations and ATI's R520 when it decides to make an appearance.
As many of you will be aware, F.E.A.R (or First Encounter Assault & Recon for short) involves a rather mysterious looking girl in a red dress, a man with an unappetising taste for human flesh, and some rather flashy action set pieces al la' The Matrix. All of this is brought together by one of the best game engines around. There has been a great amount of talk surrounding this game of late, and as we here at Guru 3d aim to please, it was decided we would take a quick pre-release look at both single player and multiplayer aspects of this game, with some preliminary testing and benchmark results, to give you an idea of just what to expect, and whether your brand spanking new 7800GTX will be just as scared of that Girl in the Red Dress as you!