Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 512MB

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Benchmarking with Prey and F.E.A.R.

Performance Comparisons with Prey

After many years of development, Take-Two Interactive recently released the highly anticipated game Prey. Prey is based upon an updated and modified version of the Doom 3 engine, and as such performance characteristics between the two titles are very similar.  Like Doom 3, Prey is also an OpenGL game that uses extremely high-detailed textures and a plethora of dynamic lighting and shadows.  But unlike Doom3, Prey features a fare share of outdoor environments as well.  We ran these Prey benchmarks using a custom recorded timedemo with the game set to its "High-Quality" graphics mode, at resolutions of 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 with 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering enabled simultaneously.

We were originally planning to use Half Life 2: Episode Two for our next test, but we encountered constant crashing midway through testing that we could not resolve.  So we dusted off an old favorite in Prey, which is still a good test for this class of card, as well as a heck of a game.

At 1024x768 the GeForce 8600 GTS had no problems breaking triple digit scores and the Sapphire HD 3650 managed to break the 60 FPS mark at 1024x768 and 1280x1024.  At 1600x1200, all three cards leveled off similarly, with the HD 3650 hitting 50 FPS.

Performance Comparisons with F.E.A.R
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One of the most highly anticipated titles of recent years was Monolith's paranormal thriller F.E.A.R. According to the game's minimum system requirements, it needs at least a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of system memory and a 64MB graphics card in the Radeon 9x00 or GeForce4 Ti-classes or better, to adequately run. Using the full retail release of the game patched to v1.08, we put the graphics cards in this article through their paces to see how they fared with a popular title. Here, all graphics settings within the game were set to their 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 1024x768, 1280x960 and 1600x1200, with 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering enabled.

F.E.A.R. proved to be a challenge for both ATI based cards, with each struggling to break 40 FPS at 1024x768.  At 1280x960, each ATI card dropped below 30FPS, while the GeForce 8600GTS reached 48FPS.  In the end, F.E.A.R. is a game where users will need to sacrifice some image quality to get proper frame rates at higher resolutions.

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