Game Graphics comparison

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Game Graphics comparison

Postby DrKazza on Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:35 am

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Something that you don't see enough of is comparison on graphics details.
What a lot of reviews do is to maybe show you once and then repeat the benchmarks ad nauseam but you forget what they are.

So there's this game Dead Space ... 31599.html
and the review has got some great shots of what the different graphics settings actually achieve.
Bottom line is that Low = poop, and to me, medium and high aren't desperately distinguishable

so it's useful to know that despite that a better graphics card would allow you to use high details, the net effect is so small that it's probably not worth the cash so you can just go to the medium benchmarks and say that at 1900 at 9800GT would do me fine.

Anyway it's just a bit of eyecandy and interesting to see graphics comparisons... all games are different and are optimised differrently but it would be nice to see a bit more of this
That's The REVEREND Dr. Kazza to you.

Re: Game Graphics comparison

Postby larchy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:19 am

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Most benchmarks run 4xFSAA and 16x aniso too, which requires quite a fair chunk of power. Chiefly the cards which suffer are the cheaper ones with less memory bandwidth, as it is these IQ features which can easily treble or quadruple both the framebuffer requirement and the bandwidth.

These things aren't often explained and the vast majority of users don't seem to have much clue what they actually do.

Anisotropic filtering can usually be switched simply to trilinear in most modern titles with hardly any difference in IQ. Back in the day the first cards with enough raw power to really be able to run decent levels of aniso were the Raddy 9700/9800 series. Back then It made quite an improvement and they switched to a method of doing it that made 16 sample aniso prettymuch free to use in terms of fps. Ever since then recieved wisdom has simply been to run 16x aniso at all times as it gains you nothing switching it off and gives a big IQ improvement.

Recently though I've noticed that modern cards & games do seem to take quite a hit from it, and with modern higher resolution textures the benefits of mip blending don't seem to be apparent. Switch Fallout3 from 16x aniso to trilinear and you have to squint to really see too much difference... perhaps you notice the odd sign texture fading out at particularly acute angles, but compared to quite a big boost to fps and the actual smoothness of the gameplay I'd say trilinear is more than adequate tbh.

Same with Empire TW, where one of the dev's posted some advice about the graphics settings and specifically recommended people just to use trilinear as aniso made very little difference with the way they'd done the textures.

FSAA... Ati's 4x Edge detect, which actually does 12x samples, is awesome. nVidia's 8x is equivalent but slower. Tbh though even the 2x algorithms are good now and look like the 4 pass modes from 3-4 years ago.

To go back to actual game settings.... usually the texture quality should be on high (unless you really don't have a very big framebuffer, ie <512MB) and everything else is mostly candy. Lighting effects make the biggest difference on cards with little shader power (lower nvidia's mainly), and Ati cards have always barfed on doing shadows for the past 5 yrs. I've seen fps triple by disabling shadows on Ati hardware in some titles like NWN2... lucky I often don't like shadow effects anyway really :P Water light refractions and full environment reflections are another killer that are barely noticeable.

Yeah... a lot of stuff you can turn off with little downside if you know what's what.

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