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 through 1,920 x 1,200 with the in-game anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering options set to their maximum values, and with full dynamic lighting enabled. We should also note that 'grass shadows' were disabled due to the dramatic slowdowns this feature causes during gameplay.
Score one for the Radeons. In dual-GPU CrossFire configurations, the Radeons, and more specifically the Diamond Viper HD 2900 XT 1GB cards put up the best overall scores in our custom S.T.A.L.K.E.R. benchmark, outpacing even the GeForce 8800 GTX SLI setup. The Radeon's lead dwindles as the resolution increases, however.