Not just that, I have also done some tweaking as well. So, lets not waste any time, and get right to the meat.
First off, yesterday I had a question and realized I did not include this. The screens are running the game at 1360x768. This resolution works best as I use a 42" 1080P LCD TV and play from the couch (and I use an Xbox 360 controller...stick around and let me know if you wish to learn how I do that...ps: Just ask).
This allows me to read the text (and until I find a way to increase text without breaking the UI, I will play at these settings).
Anyways, most people will not run at this resolution, so I made sure to get some 1920x1080 benchmarks as well. Basically, if you run the game at 1280x1024, those numbers I have already run will match what you would get (and actually you would get a frame or two more...or 10...hehe)
First, lets give you the infamous "OMG, there is smoke coming from my video card" location at 1920x1080.
I am hitting about 24+ frames here. Thats right. The loss is next to nil for this card, as it was meant to totally run high resolutions with a minimum of loss. So, even if I play at 1360 or 1920, I will get a smooth game.
Here is an example of two screens...one at 1360 and one at 1920 (after tweaks...and I will post those shortly).
1920x1080 Tweaked (35.1FPS)
So, again, the loss is minimal (about 10%), and hardly noticeable. Now, these numbers may seem low, but it is because I am purposely choosing "long view" scenes.
The distance in this game is huge and causes massive slowdowns depending on what is in the view (the example here is water. Bogs down the vid card for sure)
I also have everything "cranked" for the card. This is at a full 8x AA, 16x AF, and Supersample AA is on. So, the image quality is incomparable vs the Nvidia and even the 4890 in the household. It truly is mind boggling. And I tell ya...these screenshots do not do it justice.
But, what about in standard situations? Lets look at this comparison.
Entry into the Slaughterhouse.
1360x768 Tweaked (217.3FPS)
1920x1080 Tweaked (162.9FPS)
These numbers are so high, it is hard to tell the difference (now seeing about a 20%+ loss). You will NOT feel any lag...that is for sure. So, playing at a high resolution will be just a minimal sting, and most likely at no cost to you visually.
As to the tweaks I have enabled, here are the images for those.
The tweaking involves these steps.
Hit the "HIGH button on page 1
Page 2. - Change shadows to High (Ultra is borked...but on the 5870 it seems to work ok...just not needed quality wise)
Push all sliders to the 50% mark for view distance, etc.
Disable grass (I actually hate the grass, as it is almost impossible to find the bags sometimes. So, I prefer it off...and it adds frames)
On this final screen not much has changed. As I kept fiddling, I learned I could keep most attributes turned on...and I enjoy the visual quality. Thanks to the 5870, I can keep all of these on..except Screen Space Ambient Occlusion Lighting. That setting is buggy at this time and causes a muddy shimmery effect on anything light colored (snow for example).
As you will learn, the other two systems, the Middle class and the Low class cannot keep some of these features on to keep performance..
Now, I will finish off with a few more "hotspots" in the game that causes hardware to buckle...I even got lucky and grabbed me some "Godrays" (a special setting in AoC for DX10 that allows special lighting with a hint of realism as it shines through trees, clouds, etc.). These are all at 1360 and tweaked.
This spot always bogs due to the fact it is the Trader, and the building is FULL of people.
Long view in Poitain. Always bogs due to the "open view" which causes strain.
As I was taking my shots, the sun peaked out, and gave me some Godrays (also a frame killer...yet notice how my frames went up...lol)
Now...how do these compare to my other equipment? Well, you will have to wait for those. But, I will say this. The numbers in each of these screens may seem low (where is that magical 60FPS?) and I could hit those with more tweaks. But, I want quality now, as I can have it with the 5870.
And when you see what the other hardware does...you will see why these numbers excite me.
That is all for now. Next up is the middle class system. I will also show you comparison shots with the 5870.