Before playing games, setting up your monitor's contrast & brightness levels is a very important thing to do. I realized recently that a lot of you guys have set up your monitor improperly. How do we know this? Because we receive a couple of emails every now and then telling us that a reader can't distinguish between the benchmark charts (colors) in our reviews. We realized, if that happens, your monitor is not properly set up.
This simple test pattern is evenly spaced from 0 to 255 brightness levels, with no profile embedded. If your monitor is correctly set up, you should be able to distinguish each step, and each step should be visually distinct from its neighbors by the same amount. Also, the dark-end step differences should be about the same as the light-end step differences. Finally, the first step should be completely black.
Anno 1404 - Dawn of Discovery
So ever since the first Anno series was launched many years ago, I have been playing this excellent RTS ever since. Heck, I had a ton of fun with the original game series like Anno 1602 and 1701. If you're unfamiliar with the Anno series of games, they have all been (1404 is the 3rd sequel) colony-builders that take place in vast archipelagos filled with pirates, natives, treasures, and rival colonies. Typically, players start with a single ship packed with essential goods with which they colonize a single island, and then need to expand their realm.
With the same principles and philosophy yet more trading dynamics in-game, this series changed a little. Next to that the graphics engine had an overhaul allowing a DX10 code path, brushing up and speeding up things here and there while pertaining really nice image quality.
For our test with Anno 1404 we enable everything we can enable to the highest possible setting, we render the game in DirectX 10 mode with 4x Anti-Aliasing enabled. .
The dark blue line shows performance with AA disabled. As you can see, that's still not enough to achieve an acceptable framerate, you will need to forfeit further on image quality (try to lower texture quality).
Again, a comparison model based on a GPU bound resolution. Full comparison of the tested game at 19x12 or 19x10. You can look at these charts as a performance VGA chart, per game session. VGA performance ranking will become more clear this way.
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