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.
Legit Reviews is in the middle of updating our test systems to the latest drivers and is now testing all the cards at resolutions of 1920×1200 and 1280×1024. We just finished all the ATI Radeon 3000 series graphics cards on 8.1 CATALYST Drivers, but haven’t yet completed all the NVIDIA graphics cards. For this reason we split up the test results and we hope you understand why as we are in a transition period and have over 20 video cards to re-test, which takes a long time as we run each benchmark three times and average the results.
Legit Reviews is in the middle of updating our test system to the latest NVIDIA video card drivers, but for now are using Forceware 169.06. This will be the last time these NVIDIA numbers will be used.
Benchmark Results: The results from our custom benchmark utility on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. showed that the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 does very well against other ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards. The Radeon HD 3970 X2 was one frame per second faster than a pair of Radeon HD 3870’s in CrossFire, which is impressive. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 was also found to be just slightly faster than the GeForce 8800 Ultra running Forceware 169.06 drivers!