Hells Highway, another WWII shooter some might say. But in reality the setting of war is really just a vehicle for Gearbox to tell the storyline of a Band of Brothers which is led by you, Sergeant Matt Baker, as they deal with the madness and consequences of war. The game tells the story of Operation Market Garden in the country yours truly lives, in the Netherlands (aka Holland). It's about the besieged journey from Eindhoven to Arnhem where tremendous battles were fought.
Exactly that road, Highway 69; the road from Eindhoven to Arnhem was later nicknamed: Hell's Highway.
On of the most impressive details is that the area of Operation Market garden was completely reconstructed by historical documents and images. It's uncanny to see and experience the design of 1944 Holland. Even now in 2008 you can still see striking similarities of our country. Street signs, building structures, clothing, and even the clinker bricks on the roads dispense a true authentic mood. This reviewer is Dutch, so what level would be more appropriate than one of the starting levels, in a field in the Netherlands, moving towards a large windmill ahead of us. Lots of geometry is to be found here and in fact one of the more complex scenes to render for the GPU. Yes, welcome to Holland.
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is an interesting title as it is using the Unreal 3 graphics engine. That engine is multi-core optimized, but that by itself doesn't move mountains.
Texture Quality HIGH
Shadow Texture Quality HIGH
Shadow Detail HIGH
We use high detail image quality settings. We test in a real life situation, the way you play the game at home, and as you can see even with a BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC edition graphics card the results are all really close. In fact the platform as a whole is as fast as a QX9770 processor on a X48 motherboard. The 1000 USD Core i7 975 shines, but only up-to 1280x1024 after which GPU bottlenecking already kicks in, even with a 400 USD GTX 285 Overclocked edition from BFG.
As in last year's game, expect to encounter dense jungle environments, barren ice fields, Korean soldiers and plenty of flying aliens. There's no denying that this is more of the same, except here it's a more tightly woven experience with a little less freedom to explore.
With a top-end PC (although Warhead has supposedly benefited from an improved game engine you'll still need a fairly beefy system), rest assured, developer Crytek has enhanced more than just the graphics engine.
Vehicles are more fun to drive, firefights are more intense and focused, and aliens do more than just float around you. More emphasis on the open-ended environments would have been welcome, but a more exciting (though shorter) campaign, a new multiplayer mode, and a whole bunch of new maps make Crysis Warhead an excellent expansion to one of last year's best shooters.
Crysis Warhead has good looks. As mentioned before, the game looks better than Crysis, and it runs better too. Our test machine that struggled a bit to run the original at high settings ran Warhead smoothly with the same settings. Yet as much as you may have heard about Crysis' technical prowess, you'll still be impressed when you feast your eyes on the swaying vegetation, surging water, and expressive animations. Outstanding graphics. Couldn't say more here.
Our image quality settings; we opt for the gamers mode. However, we select DirectX 10 mode as well to allow way more hefty shader code which will take a big toll on the GPU, yet also frame buffer utilization.
Anti aliasing 2xMSAA
Ingame Quality mode Gamer
Crysis WarHEAD is a game title that likes more than 2 CPU cores AND likes faster clocked processors. But observe how incredibly close all processors really are in game performance. Opposed to the previously tested game, Crysis is a more GPU bound title.
So platform wise we can conclude that the ECS A785GM-M motherboard performs stably and offers high-performance results, at all levels.
AMD 785G chipset review - ECS A785GM-M test AMD today releases the new AMD 785G chipset. A chipset that positions itself in the mainstream segment as you can run all the latest Socket AM3 Phenom II processors on them, yet comes with a smaller price tag than the very popular AMD 790G chipset. The board supports socket AM3 and thus DDR3 memory allowing the latest Phenom II processors. More importantly, incorporated into the chipset is ATI's Radeon HD 4200 IGP