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 Labor and the Alliance for Popular Resistance, and both are known for blood and control.
Far Cry 2 is a title I like very much, not so much for the gameplay, but the rendered environment and how the game can react to it. We have selected high-quality DX10 mode with no less than 8x AA (anti-aliasing) and 16x AF (anisotropic filtering) as we want to make things really difficult to test.
The cards we'll be comparing with today is the more recent Radeon HD 4000 lineup, and I decided to throw in a GeForce GTX 250. Now bear in mind, that card has 1024MB of memory (I do not have a 512MB version here at hand). Also bear in mind that the GTX 250 is roughly 50 USD more expensive than ATI's 4770 offering.
And sure, 8x AA is too much for this card, but it's the way we test here at Guru3D with high-end quality and graphics in mind, therefore head on over to the next chart.
So now have a look at the orange line. We just lower AA levels to 2x AA. That's still very okay in my book. As you can see, we can go all the way to a monitor resolution of 1920x1200 and still get 41 frames per second rendered on average.
ATI Radeon HD 4770 review Today we have another bang for buck product, a product that I like very much. As what ATI is doing today is pretty remarkable. They are releasing the Radeon HD 4770, a mainstream product at a budget price. Trust me when I say that after reading this review, you will be impressed.
ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB review Today we test the Radeon HD 4550. It's the cheapest desktop graphics product that ATI can deliver at your doorsteps. This Radeon HD 4550 (GPU codename RV710XT) comes with an optional 256 MB GDDR2 or optional 512MB GDDR3 and will cost you .. 45 to 55 USD respectively.
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB review Today a test and review on the new AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB. Obviously ATI is releasing a 1GB model to compete with the new Core 216 version of that GeForce GTX 260. The 4870 series really diggs that GDDR5 memory bandwidth, and what's the cheapest thing to do to gain some extra performance ? Increase the framebuffer volume. Now that by itself is not going to work miracles, yet in memory limited situations (loads of high quality textures, filtering and AA modes) it will help you here and there. And a little bit of extra bite is all the product needs to get beat that Core 216 card again.
ATI Radeon HD 4670 review We test the ATI Radeon HD 4670. A nice little card that packs some decent punch in the value minded consumers.