|EVGA Geforce GTX275 CO-OP PhysX Edition|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by David Ramsey - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 07 February 2010|
Page 9 of 14
Batman: Arkham Asylum Benchmark
In the previous two benchmarks, I tested the EVGA GTX 275 CO-OP PhysX Edition card purely as a standard GTX 275-based card; the GTS 250 GPU was sitting unused. The next two tests are PhysX-heavy games that make better use of this extra computing resource. There are three ways to run PhysX on your system:
The first four bars on each chart all show rendering on the GTX 275 GPU in the EVGA CO-OP PhysX card, but PhysX is run on a different "computing resource" in each case: first on the CPU, then on the shared GTX 275, then on the dedicated GTS 250 GPU on the card, and last on a separate GTX 280 GPU. As a final test I included a high-end Sapphire Vapor-X 100281VX-2SR Radeon HD 5870 video card with PhysX running on the CPU.
Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum -Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Developed by Rocksteady, the game is based on Epic Game's Unreal Engine 3, which was upgraded to handle PhysX in the late 2007 release of Unreal Tournament 3, back when PhysX was still the property of Ageia. NVIDIA is touting this game as a PhysX showcase, and it is: despite the Unreal Engine 3's age, Batman: Arkham Asylum looks great on-screen, with richly detailed textures and PhysX-enabled effects such as cloth that reacts to stray breezes (and your Batarangs), fog that swirls around characters as they walk though it, and papers that flap realistically in the slightest breeze.
As we can see from the chart results, running PhysX on your CPU, even with a very powerful GPU like the HD5870 rendering, isn't a viable option, but the test results do serve to show how computationally intensive PhysX is.
While the stock-clocked Core i5 750 processor in the test computer is a good performer, it's simply not up to the task of running PhysX code (to be fair, no standard processor is). Things improve dramatically when we switch to the GTX 275 GPU on the EVGA card, with frame rates more than doubling. However, this leaves the GTS 250 with nothing to do, so for the third set of benchmarks, PhysX set to run on that GPU.
This is the situation that best illustrates the strength of this card: when we offload PhysX from the GTX 275 to the GTS 250, allowing the former to concentrate on rendering, frame rates jump by more than 56% at both resolutions. This is a huge increase and makes it dramatically clear why you should consider a dedicated GPU for PhysX. Although not shown on this graph, minimum frame rates improved by a similar amount: when PhysX was running on the GTX 275, minimum frame rates dropped below 20 frames per second at 1920x1200, but were about 30 frames per second with PhysX running on the GTS 250. This makes a lot of difference in the playability of the game.
One surprising finding is that setting PhysX to run on a separate GTX 280 card did not significantly improve frame rates. The GTS 250 doesn't appear to be constraining PhysX performance in this game.