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Rain Test

Stalker: Clear Sky - Is Your System Ready?

The following pictures compare the illumination quality at the maximum setting. The order is: static illumination, dynamic illumination of objects, dynamic illumination, extended dynamic illumination, and extended dynamic illumination of objects.

The activated switches and positions of the sidebar are copied into the picture. Usually you’ll find them in the extended graphics menu. The frame rate is displayed at the top left. Again, the test system consists of a Core 2 Duo E6750 at its standard frequency of 2.66 GHz, 4 GB of memory, and a GeForce 8800 GTS 512. Anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering (AF) are deactivated, and the resolution is 1920x1200 pixels.

In the test scene, Stalker stands in the rain, it is night, and his flashlight is on. The lowest setting is static illumination (first image). With a strong GeForce 8 or 9, or a Radeon HD 3800 or HD 4800, this setting is unplayable — the loss in graphics quality is enormous, the ground textures completely lose their clarity, and the depth perception disappears completely. The illumination of the flashlight is very direct and the environment is rather dark.

As soon as you switch to dynamic illumination, the ground appears real, and you can see reflections from the rain and the flashlight. The frame rates in this setting are somewhat unstable; with object illumination you will get 68 fps (image 2). The slightly advanced mode with dynamic illumination bounces between 60 and 80 fps, stabilizing at 78 fps (image 3). This can change depending on viewing angle and position, and only in this test scene did the more-advanced mode result in better frame rate.

 Rain Test with 1920x1200 pixels

If you switch to DirectX 10 illumination, the frame rate drops from 70 to 30 fps (image 4). The colors of the ground textures are more rich, but only at the highest setting (last image) — extended dynamic illumination of objects — is the wetness effect of surfaces activated. The illumination of the environment decreases when using the best setting, which is why you can see the light of the flashlight more directly. The minimum frame rate drops to 25 fps.

The rain test is the only scenery test where you can use DirectX 10 mode even with a GeForce 8 graphics card. It is not very clear if the frame rates are higher or lower in the better modes. You should avoid static illumination: the loss compared to the dynamic illumination mode is 11% or 23%, but the gain in graphics quality is very large.

Rain Test, 1920x1200, 0AF, 0AA fps Percent
Static Illumination 88 100
Dynamic illumination of Objects 68 77
Dynamic illumination 78 89
Extended Dynamic illumination 33 38
Extended Dynamic illumination of Objects 25 28

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