HardOCP.com’s [H] Enthusiast site has a great, detailed writeup of how the DirectX 10 and DirectX 9 Gears of War settings compare and, wouldn’t you know it, they came to the following conclusion.
“We are not sure exactly what turning on DX10 does, but we do know it causes a large performance drop on every video card. In our testing we found absolutely no image quality differences by turning this to ‘On.'”
Oh look, here’s more.
“The only benefit was being able to use “On/Antialiasing” for 4X AA, but you need a very fast video card to use that setting. If you have a GeForce 8800 GTX/Ultra level video card you can enjoy that setting. But on the GeForce 8800 GT/GTS and Radeon HD 2900 XT you will have to sacrifice other in-game options or resolutions in order to use 4X AA. It is rather a shame because we noticed that 4X AA does improve the visual quality of this game in a noticeable way.”
They tested the game with some pretty fancy-pants video cards too — the GeForce 8800 GT, the 8800 GTS (640MB and 320MB models), the 8800 GTX, and the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT.
As someone who searched far and wide for a low-profile DX10-enabled video card, I should be upset that I wasted so much time, energy, and money to purchase something that provides no benefit unless I sell a kidney to buy a top of the line rig. Luckily, I’ve given up on “features” that have anything to do with Vista and the small matter of my wireless connection crapping its pants 10 times a day is higher on my list of things to complain about.
Gears of War PC Performance and IQ [HardOCP]