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.
Far Cry 2 I like very much. Not so much for the gameplay anymore, yet the rendered environment and how the game can react to it. We are in high-quality DX10 mode with 4x AA (anti-aliasing) and 16x AF (anisotropic filtering).
Here you can see that the title is a little more GPU bound, none the less the memory at 2200 MHZ C / Core i7 870 leads over the very same setup but now with the memory multiplier and timings at 1333 MHz CAS 9
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.
Crysis Warhead then:
Anti-Aliasing 2x MSAA
In game Quality mode Gamer
Of course Crysis is massively GPU bound titles that does not care massively for the CPU and memory unless you go with a multi-GPU setup like the Radeon HD 5970.
Resident Evil 5 (DirectX 10)
A new addition to our benchmark suite is Resident Evil 5. Capcom's newly released game ensures you a survival horror sequel that will let you bust up some zombies on your hard drive. Resident Evil 5 PC will support DirectX 9 and 10 along with ultra-high resolutions.
So here we landed in a situation where the memory is clocked at 2200 MHz is showing much faster performance than the JEDEC standard, and the processor is clocked equal in both measurements. At 1600x1200 we start to get a little GPU bound.
3DMark Vantage (DirectX 10)
3DMark Vantage focuses on the two areas most critical to gaming performance: the CPU and the GPU. With the emergence of multi-package and multi-core configurations on both the CPU and GPU side, the performance scale of these areas has widened, and the visual and game-play effects made possible by these configurations are accordingly wide-ranging.
ATI Radeon HD 5870
Vantage P score
Vantage GPU score
Vantage CPU score
GSKILL 1333 9:9:9:24 1T
GSKILL 2200 7:10:10:28 1T
In 3DMark Vantage exactly the same logic applies, take a look at the standard PC with JEDEC (standard) times memory in dual-channel at 1333 C9, and then the at 2200 MHz DDR3.
Roughly a 17500 "P" score which is on PAR with our X58 overclocked Core i7 965 @ 3.8 GHz and triple channel memory really. So that's really nice.
G.Skill Sniper 8GB CL7 DDR3 memory review G.Skill designed another 8GB low voltage DDR3 kit (2x 4GB) that can be set at 1600 MHz yet still run a CAS latency of 7. And that is truly interesting because the denser the ICs get, the higher latency typically gets.
G.Skill 2x4GB CL7 1600 MHz Trident DDR3 review We feel that more memory is rather important, and in that trend memory manufacturers have started to increase the density of DIMM modules. Where 1 and 2GB DIMM modules have been the standard, we now see very good progress in 4 GB DIMM modules. Today we\'ll do things a little different, G.Skill designed a 8GB low voltage DDR3 kit (2x 4GB) that can be set at 1600 MHz yet still run a CAS latency of 7. And that is truly interesting because the denser the ICs get, the higher latency typically gets.
G.Skill Flare DDR3 2000 MHZ C7 AMD kit review We test and review the G.Skill Flare DDR3 2000 MHZ C7 AMD kit. These kits are optimized for AMD platforms preferably with the new six-core X6 processors, and in specific some ASUS motherboards. The kit we'll be testing today obviously comes from that series and is a 2,000MHz CL7-9-7-24 1.65V 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3 kit with its latest Flare heatsinks.
G.Skill Phoenix PRO 120GB SSD review The SSD tested today once again is the Phoenix series from G.Skill. After we tested their 100GB Phoenix SSD (which received a very positive review) G.Skill instantly requested if we would like to review the 120GB PRO model. Both drives pretty much are the same thing, same controller ... The 100GB Phoenix uses Samsung memory though but the trick is that there is 20GB extra volume space available on the new 120GB Pro (compared to the 100GB model) for nearly the same price. A new Firmware for the SandForce 1200 based controller that is inside this 120GB model simply reserves less NAND flash memory for its data-compression scheme. As a result the overall write performance could be a tiny bit slower, but only a few percent as best. It however will give you 20 GB more space to play around with at the same price. And since price per GB is everything in the land of SSDs -- this certainly is a significant for any vendor and for you as an end-user.