Performance Far Cry 2 DX9 | DX10
Alright let's begin. We tested on the same X58 platform, for ATI we used the Catalyst 8.11 driver, for NVIDIA their new "Big Bang" 180.47 driver. GPU PhysX is disabled as we do not want it to have an overall effect on rendering performance.
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 having 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.
So Far Cry 2 offers us the ability to benchmark in both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 mode. We'll do exactly that. In both modes we enabled, image quality settings:
All settings to Very HIGH
HDR / Bloom enabled
Anti-Aliasing 4x AA
As you can see, the GTX 260 is doing a pretty snazzy job there, on average it's roughly 10% faster than the 1024MB Radeon HD 4870.
Same image quality settings, yet now we are in DX10 mode. Interesting, as with the Catalyst 8.10 driver ATI had a significant disadvantage in their drivers. Catalyst 8.11 however fixed a number of things and their claim of a 3 to 10% increase in performance seems valid. In DirectX 10 this brings the two cards extremely close to each other. Very nice overall DX10 performance by the way, very nice indeed.