Still remaining one of the most beautiful 3D shooters, Far Cry is by far not the most demanding of them. The Gigabyte card easily delivers the required 60fps in 1920x1200. This is a little less than the Radeon X1800 GTO with its 256-bit memory bus can offer, but the GV-NX76T256D-RH closes the gap at the overclocked frequencies.
The “eye candy” settings put a bigger load on the memory subsystem and the 128-bit memory bus of the Gigabyte GeForce 7600 GT cannot cope with it in 1600x1200, although the Radeon X1800 GTO has an average speed of about 55fps in that resolution. The memory chips on our sample of the new card proved to be poor at overclocking, so the maximum playable resolution for the Gigabyte card is 1280x1024 with enabled FSAA.
The second clip we use in our tests was recorded in the underground caves of the Research map. The requirements to the graphics subsystem are quite different here: fast execution of version 3.0 pixel shaders is more important than high memory bandwidth. The Radeon X1000 family usually performs worse in this test in comparison with the GeForce 7 series, obviously due to the specifics of the implementation of SM 3.0. This is exactly what we see here: at the default frequencies the GV-NX76T256D-RH beats the Radeon X1800 GTO and is very close to the Radeon X1800 XL (but only overtakes it at the overclocked frequencies).
As we’ve said above, high memory bandwidth is not called for in the caves, yet it comes in handy after we enable full-screen antialiasing. That’s why the Gigabyte GeForce 7600 GT isn’t that brilliant in the “eye candy” mode. However, it is not as far behind the Radeon X1800 GTO as on the Pier map, and the average speed is generally higher. This means you can’t play the game in 1600x1200 because Far Cry is not all about closed environments and you have to go out into the open and experience an unavoidable performance hit. So, if you want to use FSAA along with anisotropic filtering, you have to switch to 1280x1024.
Although Far Cry ’s implementation of HDR (FP16) is optimized for GeForce 7 cards, solutions from the class the GV-NX76T256D-RH belongs to are not strong enough to enable the user to use this mode in 1280x1024, let alone more extreme modes. The overclocking helps achieve a certain performance growth, but it is not enough to make the resolution of 1280x1024 playable.