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Far Cry
Far Cry is easily the most advanced game engine in a game available on store shelves today, with extensive shadowing, lush vegetation, real DirectX 9-class lighting, pixel shader water effects, the works. Of our game benchmarks, this may be the most representative of future games.

However, Far Cry benchmarking is a little dicey, because the game's demo recording feature doesn't record things like environmental interactions with perfect accuracy. I was able to manage a fairly repeatable benchmarking scenario by recording the opening stages of the game and using the save/load game feature. The player walks through some tunnels, comes out into the open, and walks down to the beach. There's no real interaction with the bad guys, which makes the sequence repeatable. Far Cry's eye candy is still on prominent display. I used FRAPS to capture frame rates during playback.

Rather than test both with and without forced AA and aniso, I used the in-game settings. For this test, I cranked up the machine spec setting and all the advanced visual settings to "Very High" with the aniso setting maxed out at 4. These settings are significantly more demanding than the game's defaults, but I really wanted to push these cards for once.

The 5950 trails well behind the Radeon 9800 XT in this DX9 game, as we've long feared might be the case. However, the GeForce 6800 Ultra has no trouble outpacing the 9800 XT.

AquaMark

AquaMark appears to be vertex shader limited at lower resolutions, because the GeForce 6800 Ultra outruns the older cards by a fair margin, even at 640x480. The situation doesn't change much as resolutions increase, either. The NV40 just can't be denied.