Serious Sam 2
The new Serious Sam follows the best traditions of the first two titles in the series, giving you a simple plot, crowds of enemies that totally lack any intellect, and a lot of various weapons. The fans of the series should appreciate that. On the other hand, the game acquired a new engine with support of all new technologies, including HDR, and lost the last links with reality. The design of the levels and characters is too bright and gaudy for our taste. Anyway, the game is quite popular and makes a good benchmarking tool with its advanced visuals, so we decided to add it to our benchmarks list. For some unknown reason graphics cards of the GeForce 7 family refused to work in 1600x1200 in the “eye candy” mode. The testbed would show us a “blue screen of death” as soon as we tried to switch to that resolution. Two ASUS cards in a SLI configuration passed the test in 1600x1200 without problems, however.
Of course, the SLI pair of two Extreme N7800GT is the absolute winner here – this graphics subsystem boasts a total of 40 pixel processors clocked at 400MHz! When performing as a single card, the ASUS product did well both at the default and overclocked frequencies. The RADEON X1800 XL nearly fails this test, ensuring an acceptable frame rate in 1024x768 resolution only. What’s interesting, the senior RADEON model is more successful: its very high clock rates and 512 megabytes of graphics memory make up for the driver or architecture-related problems in this game. Note also that none of the graphics cards has a performance reserve here: the min frame rate never exceeds 25fps even in the lowest resolution.