Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB review

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VGA performance: Far Cry 2

Setup your monitor

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.

We start off with 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 are in high-quality DX10 mode with 8x AA (anti-aliasing) and 16x AF (anisotropic filtering).

The cards used throughout this test:

  • Radeon HD 4850 512MB (reference clocks)
  • Radeon HD 4870 1024MB (reference clocks)
  • GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB (Galaxy Technology)
  • GeForce GTX 285 1024MB

Above, a competitive chart. Mind you that price wise the Radeon HD 4850 512MB and the Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+ are competing with each other head to head. Throughout our review you'll notice that NVIDIA, with their recent driver tweaks, have gotten a strong upper hand in performance.

We'll show results with both 4x AA and 8x AA.

This is a little new something I am trying out. But sometimes we stare ourselves completely and utterly blind at comparative performance. I figured it would be nice to include a chart with just the test card alone, so you can see and get a grasp as to where the performance really is and how it scales with monitor resolution.

Now, 8x AA is just not do-able in the higher resolutions due to the fact the card only has 512MB video memory. But once we settle at 4x AA, the dynamics change very much. It seems that at 1920x1200 we precisely hit a framebuffer threshold for the 9800 GTX+, but at 150 bucks... that's still very nice performance.

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