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Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat

System Builder Marathon, June 2010: $2,000 Performance PC
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We had to switch to the full version of DiRT 2 in order to get the game’s DirectX 11 mode to work with Nvidia’s latest graphics architecture. We’ve determined through testing another AMD-equipped system that the new default track causes about a 5% performance loss compared to the track of the demo version, yet we no longer have the previous SBM machine for the retest (and we don't really want to bother the winners of those systems to run benchmarks for us). Thus, the $2,000 machine starts out with a small artificial handicap. Should we be worried?

The $2,000 machine stomps on our previous build, in spite of the penalty incurred by the new track. Not that we needed all this extra performance, since the lowest-average FPS of the previous machine’s tests dropped only to 53.3 FPS.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat takes revenge on the new machine, putting our previous system in the lead by a wide margin at our lower test settings. Cranking up the details and adding anti-aliasing (AA) allows the new machine to climb out of its hole to overtake its more expensive predecessor.

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