|XFX Radeon HD5830 DX11 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Friday, 26 March 2010|
Page 13 of 17
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Benchmark Results
The events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat unfolds shortly after the end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Having discovered about the open path to the Zone center, the government decides to hold a large-scale military "Fairway" operation aimed to take the CNPP under control. According to the operation's plan, the first military group is to conduct an air scouting of the territory to map out the detailed layouts of anomalous fields location. Thereafter, making use of the maps, the main military forces are to be dispatched. Despite thorough preparations, the operation fails. Most of the avant-garde helicopters crash. In order to collect information on reasons behind the operation failure, Ukraine's Security Service sends their agent into the Zone center.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: CoP is developed on X-Ray game engine v.1.6, and implements several ambient occlusion (AO) techniques including one that AMD has developed. AMD's AO technique is optimized to run on efficiently on Direct3D11 hardware. It has been chosen by a number of games (e.g. BattleForge, HAWX, or the new Aliens vs. Predator) for the distinct effect in it adds to the final rendered images. This AO technique is called HDAO which stands for ‘High Definition Ambient Occlusion' because it picks up occlusions from fine details in normal maps.
Within the limits imposed by the NVIDIA cards that don't support DirectX 11, we turn the settings on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat all the way up. The one thing we look at individually is SSAO, one of the technologies that made its appearance in DirectX 10. In the first test, with SSAO turned off, we see a familiar pattern in the comparison between the HD 5770, HD 5830, and HD 5850. Specifically, the HD 5830 has very little performance advantage over the HD 5770 and the HD 5850 rises up, way above all expectations. No wonder people love that card, and this testing was all done at stock clock rates, which are pretty low for the 5850, as it leaves the factory.
Once we turn SSAO on and set it to High, the HD 5830 gains some of its performance advantage back, over the HD 5770. The other thing that happens is that the NVIDIA cards lose out big time. Despite the company's insistence that DX11 is largely unnecessary, their performance on one of the key enabling technologies of DX10 is less than compelling. This is one rendering technique that just pins the NVIDIA GPUs to the ground. How often do you see an HD4850 coming within 10% of a GTX285 and matching a GTX275?
In our next section, we investigate the thermal performance of the Radeon HD5830, and see if the gimped Cypress GPU die runs cool enough with the simple radial heatpipe cooler that XFX brings to bear on it.