The highly anticipated game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. makes use of a proprietary DX9 game engine, dubbed "X-Ray" by its developers. It features an advanced DX9 renderer with Defferred Shading capabilities, which allows the engine to draw a vast amount of dynamic light sources with correct materials and light ‘feedback’. Becuase S.T.A.L.K.E.R. does not have a built-in benchmarking tool, we tested the game using FRAPS at resolutions of 1,280x1,024 and 1,600x1,1200 with the in-game anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering options set to their maximum values, and with full dynamic lighting enabled. With We should also note that 'grass shadows' were disabled due to the further slowdowns this feature causes during gameplay.
We saw more of the same with our custom S.T.A.L.K.E.R. benchmark. Here, the Radeons showed good performance scaling when switching from singe- to dual-cards, but once again their performance wasn't quite on the level of the entry level GeForce cards nor the previous generation X1950 Pro.