Performance in Call of Juarez
This game will bring you back into the past and into the Wild American West. A western-styled shooter is a rarity by itself and Call of Juarez adds to it with its dynamic plot and high-quality visuals like in the best of gaming projects. The game engine supports HDR, so this game is tested without full-screen antialiasing.
HDR and large open scenes are a heavy load on the computer’s graphics subsystem. Although we don’t use full-screen antialiasing, the average speed of such a powerful graphics card as the GeForce 8800 GTX is only 50fps, the minimum being as low as 24fps.
With Nvidia’s current driver the game has visual artifacts on GeForce 8800 series cards: shadows cast by objects may disappear spontaneously. This problem doesn’t show up on graphics cards with the GeForce 7 and Radeon X1000 architectures.
The GeForce 7950 GX2 with its two graphics cores feels good enough in this test, while the Radeon X1950 XTX cannot give you 30fps even at a resolution of 1280x1024 pixels. The higher resolutions are virtually unplayable. The upcoming solution from AMD will perhaps allow playing at 1600x1200 or this will still remain a prerogative of multi-GPU systems.
So, despite the excellent speed of the GeForce 8800 GTX we cannot call it a gamer’s choice (just like we cannot regard the GeForce 8800 GTS as such) because you can have problems with it not only in Call of Juarez. If you don’t want to experiment, wait until the ForceWare driver is polished off or until AMD’s new generation of graphics cards appears to make your choice basing on comparative tests.
None of the graphics cards available in this class delivers a comfortable frame rate here. The minimum speed is 10-15fps, which means jerkiness and slowdowns in complex scenes. Even the new GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB cannot provide you comfortable gaming conditions although its speed is much higher than that of the other cards. Its average frame rate is 39fps at best with a minimum of 25fps. However, this is the only representative of the Performance-Mainstream category that allows playing Call of Juarez with some comfort, if we disregard some image artifacts.
Things stand even worse with Mainstream graphics cards. The average frame rate is lower than 20fps, so the game is utterly unplayable. If you want to play Call of Juarez in best quality and with full comfort, you’ll need to replace your mainstream graphics card with something better.