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.
Results:At the default 1024×768 game resolution and standard game settings we found that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl didn’t really seem to care what 2GB DDR3 1800MHz memory kit was installed in the test system. Less than a 1.2 frame per second difference was observed between the four brands of memory and when you are running 196 FPS an extra frame per second can’t be noticed!