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Test--Graphics Menu And Quality Settings

Stalker: Clear Sky - Is Your System Ready?

Global functions in the graphics menu include the rendering mode (illumination quality) and quality settings (graphics quality). Each has five pre-configured profiles, which results in 25 different combinations. When you choose a profile, there is an automatic adjustment in the extended graphics menu. To keep things simple, the global settings are tested separately.

The following comparison images are related to the quality setting at the maximum illumination quality. The activated switches and positions of slide bars are copied into the picture. Usually you would find them in the extended graphics menu. The frame rate is right next to it. Anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering (AF) are deactivated, and the test resolution is 1920x1200 pixels.

Quality Setting Maximum

It doesn’t get any better. The illumination and quality settings are at the maximum. If you don’t look directly into the sun, the frame rate stays at 26 fps, which is fine as a minimum value.

Quality Setting High

The graphics quality with the setting at high barely drops at all — the bright cloud of the anomaly, which used to be between the trees of the background, has disappeared. This is due to the reduced range of view, which should be increased again because it affects performance a little bit.

Quality Setting Medium

With the setting at medium the illumination from the sun is reduced and overall, the scenery is a little darker. The surfaces of the objects (textures) are lacking in depth and sharpness.

Quality Setting Low

At low graphics quality, you’ll see back shadows on the ground, and notice that illumination has decreased further and some object surfaces appear lighter.

Quality Setting Minimum

Because of the low range of view, trees and plants in the background disappear; some textures become really soft and lose their realistic impression.

In the table below, you’ll see two percentages: the baseline of the first one is minimum graphics quality and it shows the loss that occurs when you change to a higher quality setting. The baseline of the second percentage is the maximum graphics quality, and it shows the gain in percent when you lower the quality setting.

If you cannot run on maximum, you should take advantage of the 27% performance gain when you drop from maximum to high quality. After that, you should set the range of view back to maximum, so you can still see all the objects in the background. Avoid the minimum setting, because the loss when switching to low is a meager 10%.

Graphics Quality, 1920x1200, 0AF, 0AA fps Percent Percent
Minimum 71 100 273
Low 64 90 246
Medium 41 58 158
High 33 46 127
Maximum 26 37 100

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