Stalker: Clear Sky - Is Your System Ready?

Test--Picture Quality Of HD 4870 and GTX 260

There are two problems in this test. With maximum illumination (extended dynamic illumination of objects), all cards in the test can work with anti-aliasing activated in the graphics menu — however, frame rates are so low that you can’t play in DX10 mode anymore.

Currently, activating anti-aliasing in the DX10 mode only makes sense with the GeForce GTX 280. At maximum illumination and 1280x1024 pixels, its output is 26.6 fps. Thus, the frame rate is not evaluated in the image comparison. We only look at optical differences between AMD’s Radeon HD 4870 and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 260.

If you lower the illumination (dynamic illumination of objects), none of the current test cards can activate anti-aliasing in the game. You will have to wait for a hotfix from AMD, because even if you select anti-aliasing in the driver, it doesn’t take effect in the game. Nvidia has the override mode in its graphics driver, which is why the GTX 260 also has comparison images with these driver settings. The darker colors come from the lower illumination mode, dynamic illumination of objects (DirectX 9).

Comparison of Antialiasing (4xAA) HD 4870 and GTX 260.

The standard mode with 4xAA anti-aliasing looks pretty much identical with all cards, except for the concrete edge of the bridge, which is not completely filtered by the GTX 260. The unfiltered edge must be at an unfortunate angle, and although other areas show anti-aliasing, the enlarged part of the image does not. At the lower illumination level — dynamic illumination of objects — we activated the Nvidia driver, and the anti-aliasing can be seen in all areas (images to the very right).

 Comparison of anisotropic filtering (8xAF) HD 4870 and GTX 260.

Also, the perspective correction of the ground texture creates a pattern and looks nearly identical. The color differences in the Nvidia driver test (image to the very right) come from the lower illumination level (dynamic illumination of objects) where the milky haze of DirectX 10 illumination has disappeared, making the details appear sharper.

If AMD and Nvidia decide to optimize the drivers, this might also affect the image quality. The results and comparison images are only valid for the test drivers we used.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
62 comments
    Your comment
  • V3ctor
    Page 7 is not available... It gives an error, as if the page doesn't exist.
    2
  • 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 -_-
    -6
  • pogsnet
    Now crysis is obsolete =p
    0
  • 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 ...
    0
  • 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?
    0
  • 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.
    1
  • blackwidow_rsa
    I had 'page not found' errors too, but they seem fixed now
    0
  • randomizer
    No page errors here.
    -1
  • ravenware
    Nice article, I liked the quality comparisons a lot
    3
  • xx12amanxx
    I like the article ive been playing this on a 4870 for about a week now and absolutly love it!
    1
  • 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.
    5
  • Luscious
    No 4870x2 in that roundup? What about some CF/SLI numbers?
    0
  • 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 :)
    0
  • V3ctor
    cangelini

    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.
    0
  • 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...
    1
  • 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?
    0
  • 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.
    0
  • 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 it...now I got warhead which so far has be amazing...
    1
  • 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.
    1
  • 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 =)

    Esop!
    1