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Serious Sam 2

We tested the graphics cards using one of the demo records included with the game, but measured their speeds with the Fraps utility.

Serious Sam 2 is very sensitive to the amount of graphics memory. The graphics card must have no less than 512 megabytes of memory if you want to use the game’s maximum graphics quality settings and do not want to experience a catastrophic performance hit. The graphics cards participating in this test session only have 256 megabytes of memory, and they have very poor results, as you see.

The GeForce 7900 GT with its 24 TMUs is the only card that notches the desired 60fps in 1024x768, but the min speed is only 26fps even with this device. The rest of the cards are slower, which makes them inappropriate for normal play at the maximum graphics quality settings, not to mention with enabled full-screen antialiasing.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The game’s HDR mode is not supported on Nvidia’s GeForce cards simultaneously with full-screen antialiasing, so we only tested it using anisotropic filtering. Without HDR TES IV: Oblivion loses too much of its visual appeal. Besides that, the game does not offer any options for automatic benchmarking, and we have to test the cards manually, measuring their speed with the Fraps utility. The numbers may be somewhat inaccurate as a consequence.

The average performance of the XFX GeForce 7600 GT XXX Edition is quite high, but its minimum of speed is at 26fps only. It means that even in 1024x768 resolution you cannot avoid slowdowns and jerkiness of movement. Among the graphics cards included in this test session the Radeon X1900 GT is the best choice for playing TES IV: Oblivion ; this card has 36 pixel processors and ensures the biggest reserve of speed.

None of the mainstream graphics cards can provide you full comfort in this game. If you’ve got a device of this class, you have to lower the level of detail or stop using HDR, but this leads to a loss in image quality and, accordingly, in your gaming experience.

The problem is even more acute with the open game scenes. The average frame rate is almost never higher than 30fps here. With the graphics cards included in this test you have to lower the level of detail and/or disable HDR; otherwise your adventures in Cyrodiil may degrade into a slideshow.

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