S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl uses the ‘X-ray Engine’ to power the graphics. It is a DirectX 8/9 Shader Model 3.0 graphics engine. Up to a million polygons can be on-screen at any one time, which makes it one of the more impressive engines on the market today. The engine features HDR rendering, parallax and normal mapping, soft shadows, widescreen support, weather effects and day/night cycles. As with other engines that utilize deferred shading (such as Unreal Engine 3 and CryENGINE2), the X-ray Engine does not support anti-aliasing with dynamic lighting enabled. However, a “fake” form of anti-aliasing can be enabled with the static lighting option; this format utilizes a technique to blur the image to give the false impression of anti-aliasing. The game takes place in a thirty square kilometer area, and both the outside and inside of this area is rendered to the same amount of detail.
Benchmark Results: The results from our custom benchmark utility on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. showed that the ATI Radeon HD 3650 and the Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 had a tough time at higher resolutions, which was expected and will beseen on all the test results. At 1280×1024 the ATI Radeon HD 3650 was able to play S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl with full dynamic range lighting enabled at over 30FPS. The Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 averaged just 14 FPS, which is too low to enjoy the game.