S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the prequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter video game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.
Advancements made in 1.5 include volumetric light, dynamic volumetric smoke, full volumetric fire, soft water, dynamic wet surfaces (with water streaming down the sides of surfaces), depth-of-field blur, DirectX 10 support, SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion). A complete day and night system is included along with improved weather effects. However, the game will maintain the same minimum system requirements as Shadow of Chernobyl, and is scalable enough to run on outdated DirectX 8 hardware
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is a great game to benchmark for this integrated graphics processor article, so we ran the benchmark at 1024×768 and 1680×1050 with the render engine set to static and also enhanced full dynamic lighting. Enhanced full dynamic lighting requires Shader Model 3.0 and since the AMD 690G doesn’t support SM3 technology, it will be dropped form those charts.
Benchmark Results: The benchmark results for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky show that at lower resolutions that Intel has taken the lead in gaming graphics performance! At 1024×768 we see Intel HD Graphics 4000 running 30% faster that what AMD offers with the Radeon HD 6550D! When you increase the resolution to something more common like 1680×1050 you’ll see that it’s a virtual tie.
Benchmark Results: With full enhanced dynamic lighting enabled we see that AMD has superior graphics performance across the board. Notice that at 1680×1050 with enhanced full dynamic lighting that Intel has increased performance by 76%! Ivy Bridge is no joke and a great improvement over the graphics offered with Sandy Bridge.
AMD Radeon HD graphics performance has improved nearly 6x since the AMD 780G motherboard was released on March 4, 2008. Intel graphics performance has improved over 13x since the Intel G965 motherboard was released on February 13, 2007.