Alienware 18 Notebook: Haswell, GeForce GTX 780M

Gaming Performance: Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, & Just Cause 2

And now begins the round of gaming benchmarks. First up is Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, and Just Cause 2.

Far Cry 2
DX10 Gaming Performance
Like the original, FarCry 2 was one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC. Courtesy of the Dunia game engine developed by Ubisoft, FarCry 2's game-play is enhanced by advanced environment physics, destructible terrain, high resolution textures, complex shaders, realistic dynamic lighting, and motion-captured animations. We benchmarked the graphics cards in this article with a fully patched version of FarCry 2, using one of the built-in demo runs recorded in the Ranch Map. The test results shown here were run at various resolutions and settings.

Although the Alienware 18 produced an excellent score in Far Cry 2, it’s a bit disappointing to see that last year’s model delivered essentially identical performance. Although obviously CPU limited, we thought the overclocked Haswell CPU would give it a larger edge.

Metro 2033
DX11 Gaming Performance
Metro 2033 is your basic post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment, but rather you’re left to deal with life, or lack there-of more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. The game is loosely based on a novel by Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2003 boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform currently including a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism.

The story is somewhat different in Metro; although the lower-res scores are about the same between the Alienware 18 and the Alienware M18x R2 (once again, most likely due to a CPU limitation), the current model is clearly the better performer in the high-res test.

Just Cause 2
DX10.1 Gaming Performance
Just Cause 2 was released in March 2010, from developers Avalanche Studios and Eidos Interactive. The game makes use of the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the similarly named original. It is set on the fictional island of Panau in southeast Asia, and you play the role of Rico Rodriquez. We benchmarked the graphics cards in this article using one of the built-in demo runs called Desert Sunrise. The test results shown here were run at various resolutions and settings. This game also supports a few CUDA-enabled features, but they were left disabled to keep the playing field level.

In Just Cause 2, we can see that the Alienware 18 offers far and away the best performance of the group.

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