Company of Heroes:

Publisher: THQ

We used the full retail version of Company of Heroes patched to version 1.3.0. It's touted as one of the best real-time strategy games of all time. Not only is the gameplay incredibly good and immersive, the graphics engine is simply stunning, making extensive use of post processing and advanced lighting techniques in the fully destructible environment. It's also scheduled to get a DirectX 10 update soon.

The graphics already look superb, but with the additional performance benefits and image quality enhancements that DirectX 10 will bring, we're expecting it to look even better than it does now. Relic tells us that it plans to make extensive use of the geometry shader, with the addition of things like point shadows and also fuzzy grass support too. By fuzzy grass, Relic means grass that will have micro displacements that break up the detail in the base terrain texturing.

Relic also plans to leverage some of the other benefits to DirectX 10, to improve performance with more graphical features turned on. The developer's plan to add more detail into the world with more smaller object details in the world. Of course, all of these will react with the world and will be fully destructible like every other element in the Company of Heroes world. For our testing, we used the in-built demo to gauge performance - in this rolling demo, there is heavy use of water, lighting, explosions and also masses of vegetation and it represents fairly typical performance throughout the game.

We had some problems getting ATI's cards to run with anti-aliasing enabled, so we have limited comparisons between the cards to 0xAA 16xAF at 1280x1024, 1600x1200 and 1920x1200. All in-game details were set to their maximum values.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro SCS3 Company of Heroes

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro SCS3 Company of Heroes

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro SCS3 Company of Heroes

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro SCS3 Company of Heroes
The PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro SCS3 performs well in Company of Heroes, and is ideally suited to playing the game with maximum details at 1280x1024. At 1600x1200 or 1680x1050, you're going to have to drop some details down in order to maintain smooth frame rates if that's what you desire. However, if you're quite happy with frame rates in the high 30's with lows dipping to around 10 fps, PowerColor's silent X1950 Pro is more than capable of delivering those frame rates at 1600x1200 with maximum details.

It's also faster than the direct competition from Inno3D's GeForce 7900 GS iChiLL ACS6 at 1280x1024, 1600x1200 and 1920x1200, too. Probably the only sting in the tail of PowerColor's card is the lack of support for anti-aliasing in the title at the moment. If that doesn't really bother you, the X1950 Pro SCS3 will perform just like any other Radeon X1950 Pro in this title.
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