Alienware Aurora R3 System Autopsy

Article Index

Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Lost Planet 2

FarCry 2
DX10 Gaming Performance

FarCry 2

Like the original, FarCry 2 is one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date. 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.

Consider Far Cry 2 a warm up lap for Alienware's Aurora R3. It's not very demanding, at least not by today's standards, and doesn't include any DirectX 11 visuals. But what it does do is showcase how the Aurora R3 handles yesterday's titles with eye candy cranked up, which you might not have been able to pull off with your previous system. With triple-digit benchmark scores across the board, it's safe to say the Aurora R3 gives you the option of revisiting older titles with no concessions to visual quality settings.

Left 4 Dead 2
Gaming Performance

Left 4 Dead 2

In our Left 4 Dead 2 test, we use a custom Time Demo that involves plenty of fast action, some explosions, and plenty of people and objects on the screen at the same time.

Still not a particularly demanding title, Left 4 Dead 2 is more current and far and away more popular than Far Cry 2 at this point. It's focus is on multi-player gaming, and that can mean dialing down graphics settings to maintain playable framerates with an acceptable ping. The Aurora R3, with its dual graphics cards, negates that concern, allowing you to turn things up as far as they go without worrying about dropping frames and getting blind-sided by a real-life opponent.

Lost Planet 2
DX11 Gaming Performance

Lost Planet 2

A follow-up to Capcom’s Lost Planet : Extreme Condition, Lost Planet 2 is a third person shooter that takes place again on E.D.N. III ten years after the story line of the first title. We ran the game’s DX11 mode which makes heavy use of DX11 Tessellation and Displacement mapping and soft shadows. There are also areas of the game that make use of DX11 DirectCompute for things like wave simulation in areas with water. This is one game engine that looks significantly different in DX11 mode when you compare certain environmental elements and character rendering in its DX9 mode versus DX11. We used the Test B option built into the benchmark tool and with all graphics options set to their High Quality values.

Lost Planet 2 is known for favoring Nvidia's architecture, but a pair of AMD's Radeon HD 6950 cards proves capable of playable framerates at 8xAA, up to a certain point. Trying to push high end visuals on a 30-inch display with a 2560x1600 is probably expecting too much, but for Full HD (1920x1080) and below, there's enough horsepower here to keep the gaming carriage from careening off a cliff.

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