This 3D horror shooter is known for its wide use of shader-based special effects. So, the game requires the graphics subsystem to be capable of processing numerous shaders at a fast rate.
The ASUS EN7800GT Top Silent delivers the same average frame rate as the Radeon X1800 XL in the “eye candy” mode, but the latter has a lower minimum speed. The first place goes to the Radeon X1800 XT, even though it is a mere 2fps ahead of the GeForce 7900 GT in 1024x768. This solution from ATI and Nvidia’s GeForce 7900 GT allow playing F.E.A.R. with comfort at 1280x1024 with enabled full-screen antialiasing. The other cards, including the EN7800GT Top Silent, cannot provide an acceptable speed in this mode.
For some unclear reason that lies somewhere in the drivers or in the Source engine employed in Half-Life 2, graphics cards on GPUs from ATI Technologies have higher results in it than Nvidia’s solutions. This is especially clear when the CPU’s influence is the highest, i.e. in low resolutions or when FSAA is disabled.
Like its competitors, the EN7800GT Top Silent easily runs Half-Life 2 at a comfortable speed with enabled 4x FSAA and 16x AF. It is not much faster than the reference GeForce 7800 GT and only in 1600x1200 resolution. It is also slower than the ATI Radeon X1800 XL due to the above-explained reasons.