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AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850 - Crysis
While it hasn't been a huge commercial success and its gameplay is far from revolutionary, the graphical fidelity of Crysis is still second to none and as such it's still the ultimate test for a graphics card. With masses of dynamic foliage, rolling mountain ranges, bright blue seas, and big explosions, this game has all the eye-candy you could wish for and then some.
We test using the 32-bit version of the game patched to version 1.1 and running in DirectX 10 mode. We use a custom timedemo that's taken from the first moments at the start of the game, wondering around the beach. Surprisingly, considering its claustrophobic setting and graphically rich environment, we find that any frame rate above 30fps is about sufficient to play this game.
All in-game settings are set to high for our test runs and we test with both 0xAA and 4xAA. Transparency anti-aliasing is also manually turned on through the driver, though this is obviously only enabled when normal AA is being used in-game.
That difference in memory bandwidth obviously has a significant impact on performance as the HD 4850 is markedly slower than the HD 4870. Oddly, though, the overclocking on Asus' card doesn't appear to make any significant difference in this title. As for the rest of the competition, the HD 4850 is fighting quite some battle and is currently losing to the nVidia 8800 GT.