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Sans AA, the Radeon HD 5770 is again bested by the Radeon HD 4870 and GeForce GTX 260. The GeForce GTS 250 is notably faster than the Radeon HD 5750, too. Two Radeon HD 5770s do manage to take top honors, but at a significant cost. Performance-wise, the card to get here really looks like the Radeon HD 5850.
Also, for what it’s worth, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is the first of two DirectX 10.1 titles in our suite. Since I’ve seen questions about this in the comments section of previous stories, I’ll address it here. For the GeForce GTX 260 and GTS 250, we have no choice but to test with DirectX 10 enabled. For the ATI cards, we turn on DirectX 10.1 and use DirectX 10-quality anti-aliasing in order to keep the workload even.
Even after dropping to High detail settings and 4xAA (we used Extreme and 8xAA for our Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 reviews), S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is largely an academic exercise with anti-aliasing turned on. A single Radeon HD 5850 will get you close to playable at 1680x1050, but everything else gets bogged down.
In a finish that’s starting to look familiar, the Radeon HD 5770 is beat across the board by the Radeon HD 4870. It’s only at 2560x1600, where the GeForce GTX 260’s 896MB of GDDR3 memory comes up short, that the 5770 is able to pass it. But in the realm of single-digit frame rates, the win means little.
ATI’s new Radeon HD 5750 trades blows with the GeForce GTS 250 at speeds so low that they don’t really mean much.