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We already commented pretty extensively on the controversy surrounding tessellation and polygon use in HAWX 2, so we won't go into that again. I'd encourage you to read what we wrote earlier, if you haven't yet, in order to better understand the issues. We have included scores from the HAWX 2 benchmark in our tests below for your information, but be aware that this test's results are the subject of some dispute. We're keeping this one around mostly in anticipation of AMD's Cayman architecture potentially making things interesting.

Lost Planet 2
Our next stop is another game with a built-in benchmark that makes extensive use of tessellation, believe it or not. We figured this and HAWX 2 would make a nice bridge from our synthetic tessellation benchmark and the rest of our game tests. This one isn't quite so controversial, thank goodness.

This benchmark emphasizes the game's DX11 effects, as the camera spends nearly all of its time locked onto the tessellated giant slug. We tested at two different tessellation levels to see whether it made any notable difference in performance. The difference in image quality between the two is, well, subtle.

Given the results from our directed tests and, uh, whatever you make of HAWX 2, the results of our first undisputed game test aren't exactly surprising. The noteworthy outcomes include the fact that the GTX 570 really is substantially faster than the GTX 460 1GB, even the 810MHz version we tested, and the Radeon HD 6870. If you're stepping up to the 570, you really are stepping up. Also, going dual with a pair of 6850s will net you higher performance than the GTX 570 for nearly the same price—not really news given that we've found dual 6850s will outperform a GTX 580, as well.