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.
** note ** all charts mention 512MB for the Galaxy card, this of course is 1024MB
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 8x AA (anti-aliasing) and 16x AF (anisotropic filtering).
The cards used throughout this test:
GeForce 9600 GT 512MB
GeForce 9800 GT 1024MB Galaxy
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB
Radeon HD 4850 512MB
As you can see there's a lot of fluctuation going on in the charts, it's thanks to the 1024Mb memory that the Galaxy 9800 GT card has. Especially in DX10 titles with some AA, you will spot a difference. The rest of the cards all have 512MB.
Let's take out the competition for a minute and show two sessions here, one with 2xAA and one with 8xAA. We felt that 8xAA was pushing it a little too much for a 135 USD product.
KFA2 Galaxy GTX 550 Ti LTD OC WHITE review In this review we'll have a peek at the warmongers from KFA2 (Galaxy), they unleash this cute little beastly looking GTX 550 Ti LTD OC White edition graphics card. And to make it even more special, they slapped all components on a sexy white PCB again. Armed with that atypical looking cooler you'll learn that this product makes no compromises, you will not hear it, it will not run hot and it even comes factory clocked at a full GHz, quite amazing as GPUs seem to slowly pass that weird 1 GHz threshold.
Galaxy GeForce 9800 GT 1024MB review | test We test a product from the guys at Galaxy, and that means customization and extra features, all for a fair price. Custom PCB, custom cooling, custom bracket, HDMI output, black DVI+backplate heck it even packs 1024MB of memory to play around with for roughly the same money as a 512MB model. All fairly impressive really.
Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB review Galaxy GeForce 9800GTX PLUS test - Galaxy recently released this product, custom PCB, custom cooling, custom bracket, HDMI output, black DVI and backplate. I sometimes wonder why a small company consistently can push out striking products like that and the bigger AIBs mainly focus on the reference design.
Galaxy Geforce 8800 GT HDMI w/ Xtreme Tuner Our initial review of this product was taken offline as we received an early version of the product. This early version had a "beta" cooler on it that made a truck-load of noise. Galaxy claimed to have a new cooler ready and asked if if we could revise the review based on the new and final cooler. And therefore we have updated this initial article to revision 2; based on new facts with the final cooling solution implemented. And it sure is a lot better.