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F.E.A.R. & Quake 4

Performance Comparisons with F.E.A.R
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One of the most highly anticipated titles of 2005, Monolith's new paranormal thriller F.E.A.R promises to be as thrilling to the mind as it is to the eyes. Taking a look at the minimum system requirements, we see that you will need at least a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of system memory and a 64MB graphics card that is a Radeon 9000 or GeForce4 Ti-class or better to adequately run the game. Using the full retail release of the game patched to v1.02, we put the graphics cards in this review through their paces to see how they fared with a promising new title. Here, all graphics settings within the game were set to the medium values, but with soft shadows disabled (Soft shadows and anti-aliasing do not work together currently). Benchmark runs were then completed at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1152x864, with and without anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.

Please note that we configured F.E.A.R. to run at the game's 'Medium' quality levels in these tests, so the scores here should not be directly compared to any of the scores in our recent graphics related articles where we set the game to its 'Maximum' quality levels.

F.E.A.R. is very taxing on today's GPUs, so framerates in this game were somewhat low, which is to be expected. What is important to note is that the Mobility Radeon X1600 was able to run this game without a problem and almost broke the 30 frame per second mark with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled at a resolution of 1024x768.  Higher clocked versions of this GPU, perhaps with larger frame buffers, may perform better.

Performance Comparisons with Quake 4

Quake 4
id Software, in conjunction with developer Raven, recently released the latest addition to the wildly popular Quake franchise, Quake 4. Quake 4 is based upon an updated and slightly modified version of the Doom 3 engine, and as such performance characteristics between the two titles are very similar.  Like Doom 3, Quake 4 is also an OpenGL based game that uses extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows, but unlike Doom3, Quake 4 features some outdoor environments as well. We ran these Quake 4 benchmarks using a custom demo with the game set to its "High-Quality" mode, at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1152x864 without anti-aliasing enabled and then again with 4X AA and 8X aniso enabled simultaneously.

The Mobility Radeon X1600 struggled a bit with our custom Quake 4 benchmark, although had we lowered the in-game quality settings, the MR X1600's performance would have improved a bit.  As it stands now, with Quake 4 running in its high-quality mode, with no addition pixel processing, the Mobility Radeon X1600 posted framerates of 37.7 FPS and 33 FPS at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1152x864, respectively. With anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled though, performance dropped off sharply at both resolutions.

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