Benchmark: FarCry

Test Setup

With easily some of the most stunning graphics seen to date, FarCry was an obvious choice for a benchmarking title. For each run, all the image quality settings were maximized to put as much stress on the cards as possible. Furthermore, the water quality settings was set to “Ultra High” each time the resolution was changed as it would keep resetting to “Custom”. For our testing, we relied upon the latest 1.1 patch to ensure the highest compatibility and performance.

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For each card, all settings were set to “Quality” mode with V-Sync disabled. Specifically on the NVIDIA cards, the option for Trilinear Optimizations was disabled to force “true” trilinear filtering.

UPDATE: For a sneak peek at the new FarCry mod using PS3.0, check out our interview wth CryTek.

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At 1024*768, we see that this test comes out as a draw with each card performing relatively the same.

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Once the resolution is increased to 1600*1200, we see that the graphics cards are suddenly faced with a considerable workload. It is no surprise that the Radeon X800 XT Platiunum Edition is thriving on these stressful settings. Somewhat surprising is the strange performance of the GeForce 6800 GT. Please note the driver bug at the bottom of the page as this likely has no small part in these results.

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As was the case at 1024*768 with the eye-candy disabled, turning on FSAA and AF fails to differentiate the performance of these cards from one another. Here, no card holds any appreciable advantage over the others.

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Cranking the resolution up to 1280*1024 with these enahnced image quality settings enabled, the two powerhouse flagship cards begin to flex their muscles. With that said, the entire field seems more than up to the challenge these settings present as they all offer fluid framerates.

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If you have your heart set on running FarCry with all the eye-candy imagineable at the insane resolution of 1600×1200, you need look at no other cards than ATI and NVIDIA’s flagship boards. Seeing average framerates well above 30fps at this level is nothing short of amazing.

It should be noted that the reference GeForce 6800 GT board we had refused to load this application successfully. After speaking with NVIDIA, it was discovered that the card would function properly once Hyper-Threading was disabled in the BIOS. This bug has been reported and a solution is underway. The Radeon X800 Pro also exhibited some strange behavior at the maximum resolution and detail settings. We are currently working through the issue and will post the results later in the week along with the final portion of the review.

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