|Mafia-II Video Game Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 23 August 2010|
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NVIDIA 3D-Vision Effects
Readers familiar with Benchmark Reviews have undoubtedly heard of NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision technology; if not from our review of the product, then for the Editor's Choice Award it's earned or the many times I've personally mentioned it in out articles. Put simply: it changes the game. 2010 has been a break-out year for 3D technology, and PC video games are leading the way. Mafia II is different, because it really expands on out-of-screen effects that completely wow the player.
The first thing gamers should be aware of is the performance penalty for using 3D-Vision with a game like Mafia II. Using a GeForce GTX 480 video card for reference, currently the most powerful single-GPU graphics solution available, we experienced frame rate speeds up to 33 FPS with all settings configured to their highest and APEX PhysX set to high. I personally played through the entire game with these settings, and only once experienced slowed performance at 1920x1200. However, with 3D-Vision, my frame rate immediately dropped by slightly more than 50%. NVIDIA Forceware drivers will guide players to make custom-recommended adjustments specifically for Mafia II, and it's clear that only top-end graphics cards will be capable of displaying 30+ FPS with APEX PhysX and AA enabled.
Of course, the out-of-screen effects are worth every dollar. In the image above, an explosion sends the car's wheel and door flying into the players face, followed by metal debris and sparks. When you're playing, this certainly helps to catch your attention... and when the objects become bullets passing by you the added depth of field helps assist in player awareness.
Combined with APEX PhysX technology, NVIDIA's 3D-Vision brings destructible walls to life. As enemies shoot at the brick column, dirt and dust fly past Vito and stones tumble out towards you. Again, the added depth of field can help players pinpoint the origin of enemy threat, and improve response time without sustaining 'confusion damage'.
NVIDIA APEX Turbulence, a new PhysX feature, already adds an impressive level of realism to Mafia II. Watching plumes of smoke and flames spill out towards your camera angle helps put you right into the thick of action.
NVIDIA 3D-Vision and 3D-Vision Surround is the perfect addition to PhysX technology, and Mafia II proves that they work best when used together to reproduce lifelike scenery and destruction. Glowing embers and fiery shards shooting past you seem very real when 3D-Vision pairs itself APEX PhysX technology, and finally there's a game that gives good reason to overpower your graphics system.