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the game will maintain the same minimum system requirements as Shadow of Chernobyl, and is scalable enough to run on outdated DirectX 8 hardware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 are a little shocking as we didn’t expect it to be so close between Intel and AMD. With the resolution increased you can see that the AMD Radeon HD 6550D pulls ahead of the Intel HD Graphics 3000 by a fairly good margin. The Intel H55 and AMD 890GX comparrison proved to be very close, but keep in mine we used the Intel Core i3-530 processor on the H55 motherboard and that CPU has Intel HD graphics on the processor. The AMD 890GX chipset has ATI Radeon HD 4290 graphics on-board as the AMD Athlon II 250 processor used on the AMD 690G, 780G, 785G and 890GX doesn’t have IGP support.
Benchmark Results: With full enhanced dynamic lighting enabled we see that AMD has superior graphics performance across the board. 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 nearly 7x since the Intel G965 motherboard was released on February 13, 2007.