Far Cry 2
With maximum graphics quality settings, Far Cry 2 is less resource-hungry than Crysis Warhead, so having 1GB of video memory brings not only theoretical advantages to Palit GeForce GTS 250 1GB card: it manages to demonstrate higher minimal and average performance than is required for comfortable gaming experience. Strange as it might seem, we didn’t see anything like that with Radeon HD 4850 equipped with the same amount of local graphics memory. Maybe the launch of Catalyst 9.3 changes the situation.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
The effect from having twice as much video memory does reveal itself in F.E.A.R.2, but here it is most noticeable in low resolutions. For example, the average performance in 1280x1024 increases by about 18%, while in 1920x1200 it in fact drops 4-5%. The minimal performance also increases significantly, and even though it doesn’t provide any new gaming opportunities, the results of the new mainstream graphics card from Nvidia priced at only $149 look very impressive especially against the modest performance of Radeon HD 4850.
Left 4 Dead
The game runs on the Source engine and has an integrated benchmark, but unfortunately, the latter does not report the minimal speed.
Since this engine is relatively old, the game is not very sensitive to the amount of onboard video memory, so Palit GeForce GTS 250 1GB runs neck and neck with GeForce 9800 GTX+ that is now known as GeForce GTS 250 512MB. So, the Source-based games fans don’t have to spend extra $40 for the additional 512MB of memory. In fact, Radeon HD 4850 as well as both GeForce GTS 250 models is equally good choice here.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
To achieve a playable speed in this game we disabled FSAA and such resource-consuming options as Sun rays, Wet surfaces and Volumetric Smoke. We used the Enhanced full dynamic lighting (DX10) mode for our test and additionally enabled the DirectX 10.1 mode for the ATI cards.
Although this game is very demanding, 1GB of video memory doesn’t have a serious effect on performance and can only pay off in 1920x1200, where the average performance gain makes only 10%. Not bad, but not enough to ensure comfortable gaming. However, even in 1280x1024 Palit GeForce GTS 250 1GB lacks a little bit of speed, unlike Radeon HD 4850 that takes advantage of DirectX 10.1 support implemented in Clear Sky.