Although not a recent title, Far Cry is still an etalon of image quality in a 3D shooter and many game developers would do well to learn from it. Moreover, Far Cry is one of the few existing games that support floating-point color representation.
We used to refer to the pixel shaders employed on the Pier level as to very complex ones, but they are not a problem at all for a modern top-end graphics card. It is now the performance of the system’s central processor that is the bottleneck in this game; it’s only in 1600x1200 resolution with enabled FSAA and anisotropic filtering that we can make sure the Radeon X1900 XTX is really faster than the Radeon X1800 XT. And of course all top-end graphics cards give you a playable frame rate even in the hardest visual mode of this game.
The Radeon X1800 XT was always slower than the GeForce 7800 GTX and the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 on the Research map in the “pure speed” mode, even though it was originally targeted at executing long pixel shaders. But Nvidia’s superiority in this test has come to an end because the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 now has to share the top position with the new Radeon X1900 XTX, even though it took the latter a threefold increase in the number of the pixel shader processors to achieve this parity.
It’s no different in the “eye candy” mode, except that in 1600x1200 resolution the Radeon X1900 XTX beats Nvidia’s top performer with the help of a more advanced memory controller. Note also that even the slowest graphics card we included into this review, Radeon X1800 XL, delivers an average speed of about 64fps here.