|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 1280x960 and 1600x1200, with and without anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.|
We had some interesting results with the F.E.A.R. benchmark. In a single-card configuration, the new Radeon X1900 XTX was the best performer, outpacing NVIDIA's 512MB GeForce 7800 GTX in all but one test (1280x960 No AA / No Aniso). Generally speaking, without any anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering NVIDIA's performance is strong, while ATI's performance is more formidable when additional pixel processing is used. In a dual-card configuration, however, a pair of 512MB GTXs running in SLI mode offers the best performance. CrossFire doesn't scale very well in this game; as you can see, even a single X1900 is faster than a pair of 1800 XTs. We suspect things could change with a future driver optimizations, but for now NVIDIA's still got an edge here as far as multi-GPU performance goes.