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The guys over at Tom's Hardware have put up an very detailed and thorough benchmark test to see what kind of hardware you are going to need to run Clear Sky on its highest settings.
With the GeForce 9600 GThttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_9_Series and Radeon HD 3870, you should switch to dynamic illumination (DirectX 9http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectX ), as both graphics chips are too weak for DirectX 10 and maximum graphics quality. If you want to use DirectX 10 illumination, the GeForce 9800 GTX, 8800 GTS 512, GTX 260 and Radeon HDhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R600 4850 are good for resolutions up to 1680x1050 pixels. When running at higher resolutions, you should step down to dynamic illumination (DirectX 9). If you want to play at 1920x1200 with DirectX 10 illumination, you will need a Radeon HD 4870 or GeForce GTX 280.
With current 3D cards, it is best to select maximum or high graphics quality and use the full range of view. The largest fine-tuning potential comes from switching to illumination mode from extended dynamic illumination of objects to (DirectX 10) to dynamic illumination (DirectX 9). You should avoid static illumination and low graphics quality, as you gain little and the graphics are too shoddy.
One ugly development is that Stalker behaves a bit like Crysishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crysis in that, with DirectX 9, everything runs smoothly, but with DirectX 10, even the fast cards reach their limits at high resolutions. If you want to run at more than 1280x1024 pixels, donâ€™t even think about activating anti-aliasing. The HD 3870 and 9600 GT are actually the second generation of DirectX 10 graphics cardshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_card , and already perform too poorly to display all the effects. The first DX10 generation Radeon 2000 and the old GeForce 8000-series cards will certainly have even more problems with the new illumination modes. What this shows is that the promised performance boost from optimized DirectX 10 drivers didnâ€™t become a reality. If you want to see the sun rays with HDR in full high-def resolution and with DirectX 10, you need a high-end card like the HD 4870 or GTX 280. The old DX10 graphics chips were overextended with high resolutions and light effects, even before the gaming market switched to Windows Vistahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista , thus proving the old maxim: never buy graphics performance for the future.
Check out the full article here.
I'd like to thank alconebay for bringing this to our attention (I seem to have overlooked it, sorry)
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