HiS Radeon X1950 Pro ICEQ3 Turbo review

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Serious Sam 2

March 2001, developer Croteam released the original Serious Sam for the PC and pretty much made other standard first person shooters look like they were in neutral. The game, along with its stand alone follow up The Second Encounter, had an impressive graphics engine, huge outdoor environments, some wacky weapons, a fun co-op mode, and most importantly some of the numerous and strangest enemies in FPS history. When players first saw the headless bomb filled suicide attacker charging at them full blast with a blood curdling scream, they knew that this game was something special.

Four and a half years later, Croteam's turn return to the plate with Serious Sam 2 and while it's basic gameplay hasn't changed it has enough new features to make it a fun and solid follow up to the original. The graphics are also greatly improved. Like the first, there is a story in Serious Sam 2 (there are even some extended cut scenes that pull the story forward) but you can pretty much ignore this aspect. It's all about "Serious" Sam Stone going from point A to point B and blowing up everything that gets in his way.

Constantly flaunting a huge draw distance, extensive foliage, many impressive lighting effects such as refraction and even HDR, plus more than solid framerates, the Serious Engine 2 looks like a real beast.

What we did today was include results from the most recent AMD ATI Radeon graphics cards we tested. So when you look at the charts you are looking at the following cards:

  • ATI Radeon X1650 PRO 256MB
  • ATI Radeon X1650 XT 256MB
  • ATI Radeon X1950 PRO 256MB (this is the HiS Technology IceQ3 Turbo version).
  • ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB

In the above chart you can see the results with HDR enabled and 16 levels of anisotropic filtering enabled. This actually is my preferred personal IQ setting for pretty much all games.

Immediately you can see why I like the 1950 Pro for it's money so much. For merely 50 bucks more you'll receive a great performance gain over the 1650 XT.

Company of Heroes

New in our benchmark suit is company of heroes. It's most likely one of the best real-time strategy (RTS) games of 2006/2007, Company of Heroes (COH) Graphics, audio, game play, immersiveness, artificial intelligence, user interface and everything else is setting a fantastic standard in today's gaming experience. Guru3D recently picked up the game as it was recommended pretty much everywhere. We look at the level where you have to clear the Church area. It's loaded with geometry, objects and hostiles. So that's a good balance between CPU utilization and graphics "consumption".

The settings for COH are simple to replicate. We enable every little setting possible and measure at 16xAF and 4xAA. COH is a brilliant game and therefore we need to show you how well it performs on this graphics card versus the resolutions available to us.

This is a new benchmark so not too many results. Over time obviously more and more results from different cards will be added. Have a look.

With 4xAA and 16xAF at 1920x1200 we can still play a great game of COH with AA and AF enabled. Pretty good eh ?

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