FarCry is a hot first-person shooter that takes in-game graphics to the next level, although in a different direction than DOOM 3. Instead of darkness and confined spaces, FarCry can place you outdoors, on bright sandy beaches, jungles or even on the water itself. This game gives our video cards a different kind of a stress test, and rest assured that FarCry ranks up there with the very toughest 3D game benchmarks. FarCry is an interesting benchmark, as it combines old school performance requirements with hot new features such as support for SM 3.0. For this test, we are using the full retail version updated to version 1.4, along with a new custom demo file.
The updated patches enable SM3.0 support for FarCry, and this makes it another good test of gaming feature sets and performance. The ATI-based cards tend to perform higher than in FarCry than on some other benchmarks, and here both the Radeon X1650 XT and GeForce 7600 GT really push the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB. There is a significant division between the framerates of the mainstream and higher-end models, with the Radeon X1950 Pro and GeForce 7900 GS 256MB cards posting noticeably higher scores.
FarCry AA and AF Widescreen Performance
When we shift to the widescreen resolutions and enable 4X AA and 16X AF settings, the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB posts excellent scores against the mainstream competition, but simply cannot run with the GeForce 7900 GS and Radeon X1950 Pro crowd.
Supreme Commander Performance
Supreme Commander is a high-end real-time strategy game, similar to a next-gen Total Annihilation, which combines killer graphics with top-level AI. The in-game visuals are incredible, and when there are multiple armored mechs in the same area, it can take a real toll on even high-end system configurations. This makes it a great benchmark for our high-end graphic cards, and while the in-game benchmarking program offers several different performance ratings (including FPS), we prefer the overall Render score, which is more dependant on the graphics component.
As Supreme Commander is bundled with the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB card, it's a very appropriate high-end game benchmark. The scores are very favorable to the Gigabyte video card, and it outpaces the GeForce 7900 GS, Radeon X1950 Pro and GeForce 7900 GT cards, only falling slightly behind the still-powerful GeForce 7950 GT 512MB.
Supreme Commander AA and AF Widescreen Performance
Once we enable anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing settings and jack the widescreen resolutions, the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB does drop back slightly, but it still posts higher scores than the GeForce 7900 GS, while giving the GeForce 7900 GT a good run for it.