|One of the most highly anticipated titles of 2005 was Monolith's paranormal thriller F.E.A.R. 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 popular title. Here, all graphics settings within the game were set to the maximum values, but with soft shadows disabled (Soft shadows and anti-aliasing do not work together currently). Benchmark runs were then completed at resolutions of 1152x864 and 1600x1200, with and without anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.|
There is a bit of irony when testing the game F.E.A.R as its stiff hardware requirements instills fear in the vast majority of systems that attempt to run the game in all its visual glory. This new title is taxing enough to bring even the fastest enthusiast systems down a notch or two. Running a resolution of 1152x864, we find the two new NVIDIA GPU's taking the lead with the Radeon X1800 GTO trailing slightly behind by 9fps. Positions change slightly once FSAA and AF are introduced, with the Radeon X1800 GTO now commanding second place by a narrow 4fps over the GeForce 7600 GT.
Somewhat surprisingly, the cheaper GeForce 7600 GT is able to still maintain a lead over the Radeon X1800 GTO even at a high resolution of 1600x1200. Here the new ATI card is right on the cusp of acceptable framerates with a strained 34fps performance. Adding FSAA and AF to the mix changes things in ATI's favor, although only by a narrow 2fps margin. As we've witnessed in all other benchmarks, the GeForce 7900 GT dominates the competition by a sizeable margin with it scoring the same average framerate with FSAA and AF enabled, as the Radeon X1800 GTO scores without any of those settings enabled. Then again, we must remember that the GeForce 7900GT is $50 more expensive than the ATI counterpart (and 12 pixel pipes stronger) so its up to the user to determine which card is best for their desired price range.