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 roughly 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.
Far Cry 2
Throw your memory back to the year 2004 and the release of the innovative Far Cry on PC. Developer Crytek managed to fashion one of the most convincing and striking locales in all of gaming, and satisfied gamers with the freedom to pass through the landscape and tackle enemies in almost any way they saw fit. You surely remember Jack Carver and that things were about to get seriously messed up for you? Well, tough luck. You are no longer at that deserted tropical island but hop into a jeep and arrive at the sandy savannah surroundings of Africa. And that's a change... as much as you'll no longer run into any mutants, aliens, or any superpowers or psychic powers. Also - you are no longer Jack Carver, you assume the role of one of nine different mercenaries who are embedded in the midst of a brutal civil war which rages in an imaginary African nation.
Everything that goes down is involved in a dirty little bush war in central Africa and you'll have to use a rusty AK-47 and whatever bits of scavenged land mine you can duct-tape together. Two factions struggle for supremacy: the United Front for Liberation and Labour and the Alliance for Popular Resistance, and both are known for blood and control.
We start off with a title I like very much. Not so much for the gameplay, yet the rendered environment and how the game can react to it. We are in High-quality DX10 mode with 4xAA (anti-aliasing) and 16xAF (anisotropic filtering).
The cards used throughout this test:
GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB (reference clocks) Just to create a performance baseline which you can relate to as many of you have a graphics card performing at this level.
GeForce GTX 295 1792MB (reference clocks) as comparison towards Quad SLI.
2x Radeon HD 4870 X2 2048MB
2x GeForce GTX 295 1792MB in SLI
Now check that out. That's one big thumping green bar right there. NVIDIA already let us know they had been working on the game for multi-GPU situations, and that shows with the 181.20 GeForce driver.
Since we are so far in the high-end segment, we just have to show results with 8x AA as well. It will get a little more interesting when we apply 8xAA, check it out:
Now again we have the same settings, DX 10 mode but with 8xAA applied. Let's go check out Call of Duty 5: World at War (DX9).
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