Benchmarks - What We Use And How, Continued
Far Cry 1.3 (32-bit) - Cooler01 Demo
The Crytek engine is just one of many, but Far Cry is a good game to tax the graphics card with textures, shading and lighting. We turned on the flashlight in our custom time demo, Cooler01, to make sure it got a thorough workout. Far Cry also has HDR (High Dynamic Range), which helps test the effects of HDR code in testing.
Doom 3 - Demo1
The next game engine to come onto the horizon was the Doom 3 engine, which will put cards through an ordeal with its complex lighting. We use the Doom 3 default time demo, "demo1," for each of our tests. First, the graphics card driver is set to "application controlled." Then we disable FSAA and the high-quality setting in the game, for the first run. When set at high quality, anisotropic filtering is automatically enabled and set to eight-sample mode. For the second run, we turn FSAA to 4X to really tax the GPU.
Half-Life 2 - DP_Coast_01 Demo
Last but not least, we have what drives Half-Life 2: Valve's Source Engine. Half-Life 2 is a game that offloads some of the work to the CPU, so it is a good test for the latest graphics cards as well as overall system performance. And as a bonus, HL2 offers some serious "eye candy" for the gamer. HDR was added to Half-Life 2 and the Source Engine during recent update from Valve Software. This was a great addition but it broke our previous timedemo for benchmarking. We updated the benchmark under our new testing environment.