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 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.
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 8x AA (anti-aliasing) and 16x AF (anisotropic filtering).
Please understand that we use these somewhat hefty settings as part of our benchmark policy. Obviously you'd disable AA or go down to 2xAA to be able to play the game in acceptable framerates with a card like this.
You know what -- let me show you exactly that:
As you can see at 2xAA we already see much better performance, playable up-to 1600x1200. And mind you .. the rest of the IQ settings is in-tact thus set at very high quality.
Recently added to our charts are comparison models based on a GPU bound resolution. Full comparisons of the tested game at 19x12 or 19x10. You can look at these charts as a performance VGA chart.
In red the MSI GeForce GT 240 - again this chart is here to show scaling -- nothing else.
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