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Serious Sam 2 (2005): PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors


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Year of release : 2005
Genre : Action, FPS
Developer : Croteam
Publisher : 1C-SoftKlab 

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Serious Sam 2 is a continuation of the furious action from Croteam, developed using a new "engine" and modern graphics technologies. In addition to stunning image quality and stunning special effects, Serious Sam 2 has a number of innovations in the field of gameplay, among which it is worth highlighting motorcycles and jeeps that can be used to move through the levels. The main idea of ​​the game has remained virtually unchanged, so get ready to continue the bloody meat grinder with the legions of alien invaders.

Guns are tougher! Enemies are scarier!! More adrenaline!!! Don't let Sam Stone stop! Take it seriously! Continue the fight against the hordes of minions of Mental, the biggest, most mysterious and evil guy in the universe! 


In this subsection of our review, the main graphical aspects of this game are revealed. Particular attention is paid to the version of the graphics engine used, the version of the API used, graphics settings and the quality of the development of the main visual aspects.

Supported OS and graphics API

Serious Sam 2 is supported by major Windows operating systems, which include Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Other operating systems are not currently supported by the developers and will not be supported. 

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The priority and primary graphics API for Serious Sam 2 is  DirectX 9

Game engine 

Serious Sam 2 is based on  the Serious Engine 2. Brief historical course:  Croteam realizing that they have created a masterpiece series, they begin to develop a new engine. They did not want to rewrite the engine completely, but eventually came to the decision to write the engine from scratch. Perhaps this was a huge mistake and in the end the engine was not as successful commercially as its predecessor. Serious Engine 2 also failed to compete with engines of its generation such as Source, idTech 4 and Unreal Engine 2.5. Many of the technologies implemented in the engine were either outdated or already used in more advanced engines.


Serious Engine 2 featured HDR, a technology that, by 2005, was implemented and used in all engines. Also, support for DirectX 9 was implemented, which used shaders of the second generation 2.0.

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Other features of the graphics engine include the implementation of sun glare, as well as MIP-texturing - this effect is used for better rendering of the level, so one high-resolution texture is taken and after that reduced copies are created down to the pixel - all this is created in order to to avoid blurry textures at high screen resolution, and if the texture resolution is too high, to eliminate the appearance of extra pixels and the loss of fine details. It turns out that it is better to have several textures of different detail and apply the one that is most suitable in this situation to the object.

The engine has the technology of light refraction in water space, however, all refractions are static and are not calculated in real time.

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The changes also affected the artificial intelligence system. The sound engine uses several systems and audio file formats. A constant feature since the first version of the engine was amazing optimization. Due to this, a fairly large number of objects could appear on the player's screen.

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The engine, as mentioned above, failed commercially and was not licensed by any of the development companies. Croteam didn't release more games on it either. The only game developed on the Serious Engine 2 is Serious Sam 2, which was rather coolly received by gamers. 

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Serious Sam 2 comes with a new game editor, Serious Editor 2.0, which uses built-in features to manipulate all game resources in one program. The program has a built-in GUI driver, editors for polygons, animations, collisions, destruction, destructibility of objects, the world, models, scripts, particle systems, as well as a resource editor (allows you to change the appearance of the menu and other elements). 


Advanced game settings


Serious Sam 2  has both basic and advanced graphics settings. In total, four quality levels are available for all types of settings: ultra, high, medium and low. You can also flexibly manipulate individual settings. 

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Below we have provided screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Various quality modes
NIZ 1 SR1 Max 1
NIZ 2 SR2 Max 2

The difference in graphics at different quality settings is quite significant.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K
HD 1 4K1
HD 2 4K2

At 4K Serious Sam 2 looks good, showing impressive graphics even by today's standards.


Comparison of anti-aliasing modes



Anti-aliasing in Serious Sam 2 completely eliminates all surface irregularities, making the picture almost perfect.

General visual design and game physics

Well, we got to Serious Sam 2, which at one time sunk into the soul of many users not only with an excellent graphic component, but also with the incredible dynamics of what is happening.

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Unlike other games in the series, the visual component in Serious Sam 2 is made in a cartoon style, which caused a lot of criticism from critics, but in our opinion, this makes the game more attractive and more driving.


As for the system requirements, the game could once bring to its knees all top-end graphics solutions without batting an eyelid. As for today, as we will see from further testing, any modern gamer will be able to enjoy this game at maximum settings without problems.

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Next, we will go directly to the gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware. 


Test configuration

test stands


Benchmark #1 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform

Test stand #3 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test Bench #6 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Benchmark #7 Based on AMD Socket AM3+ Platform

Benchmark #8 based on the Intel Socket 1150 platform


multimedia equipment

Dell U3010 Monitor 

Monitor  ASUS PQ321QE

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 340.43

AMD Catalyst 14.6

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v 3 beta 19

GPU Mist


GPU test

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality by MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. The average and minimum FPS were taken as the performance indicator. Below is a video of the test segment:   

Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Serious Sam 2. SLI and AMD CrossFireX have sufficient support in the game, showing excellent scalability. 


Testing at 1920x1080 resolution


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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 

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With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS.

Testing at 2560x1600 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600

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With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS.

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560

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With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R7 260X or GeForce GTX 760 level showed an acceptable FPS.  Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 680 and higher would be the best solutions.

As you can see from the review, AMD video cards showed the highest performance in Serious Sam 2, and the higher the resolution, the better they feel.


memory GPU

Testing of the video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the  MSI Afterburner program. The results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA were taken as an indicator at resolutions of  1920x1080 and 2560x1600 with various anti-aliasing settings.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings

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The recommended amount of video memory usage for 1920x1080 resolution will be 512 MB of video memory,  for 2560x1600 resolution - 1024 MB of video memory and for 3840x2160 resolution about 1280 MB of video memory. 

Micro Stuttering Test



Introducing our testing of FPS output latency on a Micro-Stuttering monitor. The results were taken on multi-chip configurations of video cards from AMD and NVIDIA at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum image quality settings.

Testing at maximum quality settings Micro-Stuttering GPU 

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Micro-Stuttering delay indicators for video cards are within the normal range.

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 15 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of the video card for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum graphics quality settings. Below is a video of the test segment: 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 


At the moment, the CPU performance in the game is quite sufficient for a comfortable game.

Loading of processor cores at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel % 

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Loading of processor cores  at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 AMD % 

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Serious Sam 2 is currently capable of supporting up to 2 computing threads.

RAM test

The test was conducted on the base configuration Core i 7 3970X@4.9 GHz with 16GB DDR3 2400 MGz pre-installed memory. All used RAM was taken as an indicator. The RAM test on the entire system was carried out on various test benches without running extraneous applications (browsers, etc.).

Testing the game's RAM consumption at various quality settings 

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As we can see, with various quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in Serious Sam 2 is at the level of 150-300 megabytes.  

Testing system RAM consumption  

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With a 4 GB system, Serious Sam 2 consumes about 2 GB of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 2.2 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, total memory consumption was almost 2.8 GB.   

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