Far Cry 2 Performance EvaluationVideo Cards, Gaming
Reviewed by: ccokeman
Reviewed on: October 21, 2008
Far Cry 2 has been on the horizon for a while now and is finally here. Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built specially for Far Cry 2, this engine allows for real time effects and damage. This next generation first person shooter comes to us from Ubisoft surprisingly - not from Crytek. The game is set in a war-torn region of Africa where there is a non-existent central government and the chaos that surrounds this type of social environment. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond, you know the setting. Ubisoft puts the main storyline of the game into focus with these statements: "Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfil your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force." In this version of the game, you don't have the beautiful water, but instead the beauty and harshness of the African continent to contend with. Most games give you a set area that can be played through, while Ubisoft has given the gamer the equivalent of 50km2 of the vast African continent to explore while in pursuit of your goals. This quick preview is meant as a first look and performance evaluation, so let's take a look at the game.
Far Cry 2 is just like every game on the planet in that it has a control panel that allows you to mange the settings for the video, sound and controls. You start out managing your settings that will work best for you system and then choose a character as your own. Then you start the game. Here are a few screen shots of the initial ride to your start point to give you a feel for what you will see.
The benchmark tool is there to help you gauge the performance of your system. All of the in-game settings can be manipulated to test your system performance.
After running the benchmark, the tool allows you to see all of the runs that were made and calculates an overall average includeing high and low points in the performance.
Now let's get a look at how some of today's cards ran this benchmark.
In the past, Far Cry was one of the staples of the Overclockers Club video card benchmark suite. This was supplanted by Crysis, because of the demands of the game. Now with this sequel to Far Cry, I think it has earned a place in our benchmarking suite. Below is a short preview of what several of the more common cards in use today deliver, in terms of performance. For the ATI cards there is already a hotfix driver in place, so that particular driver is used in this testing, as well as the latest 180.xx driver from Nvidia. As per our normal testing regime, all control panel settings are left at the driver defaults, with the in game settings set to the level I am testing at. Like most of the public, I want to see what kind of performance my video cards have in the games I play. Ubisoft has made this a simple process, by including a benchmark utility to show off just what each card can or cannot do in a repeatable way.
- Processor: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333x8
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X48-DQ6
- Memory: Mushkin XP2 Redline 8000 2 x 2GB 5-5-5-12
- Video Card(s): See below for the list
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: NEC DV5700
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
Comparison Video Cards:
- Direct X 10
- Game settings to Very High
- Vsync Off
As you can see, the performance of the cards scales in proportion with their capabilities, with the faster cards getting the higher scores. All of them performed at a level that is still playable. When the AA is cranked up to 8x with all settings to ultra high, the cards do see a severe performance drop. The HD4850 went as low as a 12FPS average.
There you have it - a quick performance test to show how some of the latest from Nvidia and ATI fare in the supplied benchmark included with Far Cry 2. When set to the maximum settings, this game puts a serious burden on the video card. Of course, the more stout the video card, the more performance you will see in-game. Just watching the benchmark run through its paces, you can see more and more each time it is run. The first time you see the concussive force of an explosion blow through a tree - it makes you sit up and start looking at the small things going on during the benchmark run. Realistic flames that move with the wind, leaves blown off a tree from an explosion, the chicken that get blown clear across the compound as well as barrels that show real damage instead of just flying through the air looking as new as the frame before. All the little things combine to give that 'wow' effect. I cant wait to dig a little deeper into the real game play to see if the benchmark performance does match up with the gameplay.
Since this was an impromptu test, more cards will soon be added to this evaluation, in order to give a better picture of the capabilities of each series of video cards.
We have had some questions sent in asking why only certain cards were included and others were not. The answer is simple we got the game monday night and the NDA was lifted tuesday morning. We tested what we could with the amount of time we had. We will be adding more cards to the article as we begin to test them. Thanks for your understanding. OCC STAFF.