Here, we're using the full retail version of Far Cry with the recently released
1.3 patch applied. We did a manual run through of a section of the Factory level, which is both indoors and outdoors - the majority of our manual run through is taken from the start of the level, which is all outdoors. We also played through a section of the Fort level to ensure that our settings were playable in other graphic-intensive environments.
The GeForce 6600GT was capable of delivering a solid frame rate at 1024x768 with 0xAA 8xAF and in-game details set to 'Very High', as pictured above, while the Radeon 9800 Pro delivered a solid frame rate at the same resolution at 0xAA 4xAF with in-game details set mostly set to 'Very High', with the exceptions of water quality and shadow quality, which had to be reduced down to 'High' in order to deliver a solid frame rate.
The extreme over bright on the roof of the factory is still present on the GeForce 6600GT, while we also feel that the rendering from ATI's Radeon 9800 Pro isn't quite there either - the light is better, but we feel that the roof of the factory is under exposed with the Catalyst Driver.
There are a lot of jaggies, due to the fact that these video cards are not fast enough to run at a higher resolution, or with Anti-Aliasing enabled. The filtering quality is better on NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT, due to the fact that it is capable at running at a higher Anisotropic Filtering setting. The shadows are also slightly better quality on the 6600GT, which is down to the higher shadow setting that the NVIDIA video card is capable of using while retaining a playable frame rate.
It's worth noting here that we did see texture shimmering on both video cards, due to the lack of Anti-Aliasing, however, the trade off for running with AA was for us to lower the resolution to 800x600, or for us to run with a lower in-game detail setting. The trade off wasn't worth it in our opinion, although it was possible to run at 1024x768 with 2xAA at a 'High' detail setting on the GeForce 6600GT - we suggest that you experiment for yourselves to find what you feel is the best of the two detail settings.
The minimum frame rate on the Radeon 9800 Pro gives some cause for concern, as it is verging on unplayable. However, there is only the one section of our manual run through where the frame rate dropped below 28 frames per second, and this was it. We found this drop in frame rate occurred at regular intervals over the course of whole levels, so you would have to make your mind up whether the image quality trade off is worth the ever so slight lag every now and again. If you have a slower CPU than what we have used here, we would suggest lowering the detail settings down to 'High' detail, but if you have a faster CPU, you may well be able to run at a higher resolution on the GeForce 6600GT, because FarCry is a fairly CPU-intense title.