Stalker: Clear Sky - Is Your System Ready?

Test--The Benefit Of Changing Resolutions?

We tested at the maximum graphics quality and the highest illumination model. Extended dynamic illumination of objects (DirectX 10), anti-aliasing, and anisotropic filtering were deactivated and the range of view was set to maximum. The test system consists of a Core 2 Duo E6750 CPU at its standard frequency of 2.66 GHz, 4 GB of memory, and a GeForce 8800 GTS 512.

The question that keeps coming up is what is a monitor with widescreen resolution good for? If a game supports this resolution, there won’t be any distortion of width or black borders. The following pictures show the visible area and resolution, and the aspect ratio is next to it. You can see the achievable frame rate in the top left corner. All 16:10 formats have a wide image and show more of the picture. The 16:9 format has the widest image, which is a significant advantage because you see even more of the environment.

In the table you’ll see two percentages. The baseline of the first one is 800x600 pixels and it shows the loss in frame rate that occurs as you change to higher resolutions. The baseline of the second percentage is 1920x1200 pixels and it illustrates the gain in percentage terms when you decrease resolution.

The test scene we chose is challenging for the graphics card. The optimal setting for graphics quality would be 1280x1024 pixels. If you own a monitor with a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels, you will have to set the resolution to 1440x900 pixels to stay within your aspect ratio and still have a smooth frame rate for maximum graphics quality. You only gain 20 percent in performance when changing to 1680x1050. Given the baseline of 15 fps, this is not enough to exceed 25 fps.

Resolution in Pixels fps Percent Percent
800x600 49 100 327
1024x768 40 82 267
1280x1024 30 61 200
1440x900 26 53 173
1600x1200 20 41 133
1680x1050 18 37 120
1920x1080 16 33 107
1920x1200 15 31 100

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  • V3ctor
    Page 7 is not available... It gives an error, as if the page doesn't exist.
  • magicandy
    Aside from the numerous pages that don't work, was a 24-page analysis of STALKER, a fairly mediocre shooter, really necessary? Is a 24-page analysis of any game necessary? Sigh anything to please devs and grab ad dollars -_-
  • pogsnet
    Now crysis is obsolete =p
  • haplo602
    hmm ... I loled when I saw the graphics error in the water tests. the camo-net disappeared everywhere it obscured water in all modes other than static. but you get a nice looking water effect :-)

    I was wondering if I can get this game to run on reasonable terms on a HD4670 or HD3850. Based on the HD3870 results, it looks like it would be playable ...
  • cangelini
    V3ctorPage 7 is not available... It gives an error, as if the page doesn't exist.

    Not sure what you're seeing (or not, in this case), but everything is working over here. Any more detail?
  • randomizer
    magicandySigh anything to please devs and grab ad dollars -_-
    Dude, the GSC can't even afford to hire a dozen half-decent developers, let alone pay for ads.
  • blackwidow_rsa
    I had 'page not found' errors too, but they seem fixed now
  • randomizer
    No page errors here.
  • ravenware
    Nice article, I liked the quality comparisons a lot
  • xx12amanxx
    I like the article ive been playing this on a 4870 for about a week now and absolutly love it!
  • dimaf1985
    magicandyAside from the numerous pages that don't work, was a 24-page analysis of STALKER, a fairly mediocre shooter, really necessary? Is a 24-page analysis of any game necessary? Sigh anything to please devs and grab ad dollars -_-

    A fairly mediocre shooter? Youre obviously an idiot.

    The real question here is what was the point of the first 9 pages? Is this a review on a graphics analysis article? C'mon on, Tom's, get it together.

    Other than the first 9 pages, nice article. Very in-depth.
  • Luscious
    No 4870x2 in that roundup? What about some CF/SLI numbers?
  • radnor
    Well, i found it a decent review. I liked how they categorized the cards and presented the game. This review might not ring you bells but it is not too bad.

    Not that I'm going to buy this game atm. Its too hilarious to see the stock market now. Oh, well :)
  • V3ctor

    It posted as a bad link... as if i got a link (for example 1 year ago, and now doesn't work)... But it's fine now... never mind :)

    Good review... 24 pages is a lot, u covered a lot of angles... including the graphics cards.
  • Anonymous
    The game is definitely an improvement on the first one - on paper at least.
    The problem is the huge amount of game crashes. I played the game for about 8 hours, progressing all the way to The Garbage level when my crashes started. I was forced to install the latest patch, but that meant I had to start all over again. Although I this time got twice as far, the game still crashes - although now instead of rebooting the PC, it is caught by a built-in bug tracker.
    I am really dissapointed now, cause after one of these crashes, my game is now stuck at the Yantar level - where I'm supposed to meet up with a character, but when you get to the character, he is completely inactive. I've moved backwards and forwards in levels, but I cannot get this dude to react to my presence.

    I suspect I will probably have to restart the game, but I think I am going to abandon - at least untill a newer patch, and then hope the new patch will recognize my current saves.

    Advice: Make regular custom saves - not just quicksaves...
  • mr roboto
    More like is STALKER ready? From what I've heard it's not. Numerous bugs and crashes, but then again the first game was like that so would you expect anything less?
  • modtech
    Patch 1.5.05 is out. The game never crashed or glitched for me and I've gone from start to finish, joined in on 3 different faction wars and explored the crap out of every area. I also finished crysis warhead and that CTDed twice from the start to the end.
  • ahslan
    I dont know if Im convinced on getting this STALKER...I was hugely disappointed with the first one (especially since sooo many people said it was a great game)...
    For me, its the exact opposite of crysis...I didnt get crysis for the longest time because soo many people said it wasnt worth it, but once I took a chance on it, I loved I got warhead which so far has be amazing...
  • modtech
    Warhead is short and shallow. Not a bad game but anyway. If you're talking about Stalker:SOC then you would do well to look at the modding community which really made the game the memorable experience it is to many. (Notably the oblivion lost mod)

    I've played and finished both crysis games. They are in no way comparable to the atmospheric freedom that the stalker games have. You just can't compare them. Change the point of view to multiplayer and things might be different. Otherwise I you comment comes across as poorly thought out and shallow.
  • Yuka
    Very nice review indeed. I missed the 4870X2 and 9800GX2 though, but it was a nice review indeed.

    I liked the "Performance Comparison" at the end the most. That's the most usefull piece of info you guys can give the reader: easy to digest pointers and info for overall game experience. Two thumbs up for that =)