Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Games arrow Mafia-II Video Game Performance
Mafia-II Video Game Performance E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games
Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 23 August 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Mafia-II Video Game Performance
Mafia II Initial Impressions
Mafia II Interesting Characters
Mafia II Gameplay Details
NVIDIA APEX PhysX Enhancements
NVIDIA 3D-Vision Effects
Graphics Detail: Polygons
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

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.

Mafia2_3d-Vision_Characters.jpg

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.

Mafia2_3d-Vision_Tire_Door.jpg

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.

Mafia2_3d-Vision_Debris.jpg

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'.

Mafia2_3d-Vision_Smoke_Plumes.jpg

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.

Mafia2_3d-Vision_Out-of-Screen.jpg

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.



 

Comments 

 
# Nvidia Sponsored?KuzzenJoe 2010-08-23 11:14
"For best results in Mafia II, players are suggested to use NVIDIA GeForce products to properly process PhysX features and produce high-enough frame rate performance to enjoy 3D Vision". Nice to see an editorial follow the Nvidia-supplied script to the "T". Too bad Nvidia intentionally cripples Phys-x on CPUs and blocks Phys-x with ATI cards. But no worries - my HD 5970 runs just fine with Phys-X running on a seperate 9600GT, and it can display across three screens without needing another matching card. But of course, you would not know any of that from reading this article.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Nvidia Sponsored?Olin Coles 2010-08-23 11:31
@KuzzenJoe: After seeing our benchmark results you somehow think I was biased for recommending GeForce video cards with Mafia-2? I know there will be ATI fanboys, but ignoring facts goes beyond favoritism. But you go ahead and play Mafia-2 with your $700 Radeon 5970 and watch a $200 GeForce GTX 460 eat it up with PhysX enabled.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Nvidia Sponsored?Adam 2010-09-09 13:55
strange. my hd 4850 plays it just fine and it cost me £50. your move
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: Nvidia Sponsored?Olin Coles 2010-09-09 14:01
Who's move? Nobody said it wouldn't play fine with other cards. They just won't enjoy APEX PhysX with the extra post-processing unless it's a more recent GeForce video card.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: RE: Nvidia Sponsored?Adam 2010-09-09 15:50
yours and as a matter of fact im enjoying the apex effects quite well with a previous gen mid range ATI card thank you.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceRealNeil 2010-08-23 12:13
It's cost seems a little too high for a game that can be completed in less than 5 Hours.
I like all of the old styled cars though.
The Phys-X eye candy might be worth buying a pair of GTX 460 1GB cards in a SLI configuration. (just to try it out)
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceOlin Coles 2010-08-23 12:18
To be fair, I do explain that all of the cinema scenes were skipped my first time through because of the fast-approaching deadline. If you watch them all, and actually try to hunt down posters or Playboy magazines, you'll spend a lot more time in the game.

Also, I really suggest Mafia-2 with 3D-Vision. The combination of APEX PhysX and 3D-Vision take this game to a whole new level.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceRealNeil 2010-08-23 14:06
Thanks for the further explanation as to the time in game. As to 3D-vision I'll reserve judgement and adaptation until I can Actually see it with my own eyes and try it out a little. Phys-X is real doable for a decent price if you opt for the GTX-460 1GB cards in SLI, or so I'm being told by a few of my friends that have bought the overclocked ones from NewEgg recently. They're quite happy with that setup and now I want it too.
Report Comment
 
 
# Who CaresGlen 2010-08-23 12:33
I don't have to worry about requirements anymore. Going to play this game tomorrow on my Netbook, far below the minimum thanks to OnLive.(Oh yeah and I'm going to get any free game(probably Just Cause 2) with a purchase OnLive) So $25 for this game and $25 for Just Cause 2.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Who CaresAP 2010-08-25 09:43
Not at all blatent advertising for OnLive.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Who CaresOlin Coles 2010-08-25 09:45
Let's see if there's a reply in defense, otherwise I'll remove the comment.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceMartha Jones 2010-08-23 12:37
@KuzzenJoe, it is not nvidia's fault if ATI refuses to support CUDA and PhysX in their prodicts. nvidia has stated that ATI is welcome to support both, but ATI says they won't support a format which they have no control over and which is spearheaded by their competitor.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceGoodsir 2010-08-29 08:37
Why is the GTX480's framerate cut so much when PhysX is turned on, but the GTX460's framerate is hardly affected?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceOlin Coles 2010-08-29 08:41
Aside from different GPU's (GF104 vs GF100), there isn't a clear explaination. Each video card was tested more than seven times per test, and all of the results were verified a second time through.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceK 2010-08-29 10:21
Probably used CPU physX =P
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceOlin Coles 2010-08-29 11:21
What? This game doesn't have a setting to pick between GPU and CPU PhysX. If the GPU support PhysX (GeForce) then it uses GPU, if it doesn't (Radeon) it does what it can with CPU.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceK 2010-08-29 13:10
There actually was an issue back in the Demo version of Mafia 2 that the PhysX update, when installed could make your card's PhysX capabilities on a forced disable.

You should check it for yourself by running the game again, except with the "Show PhysX visual indicator" option enabled in your Nvidia Control panel. It's there under the 3D settings menu, next to View and Help.

If it says PhysX > CPU, then it's processing PhysX effects via the CPU, if PhysX > GPU, then it's utilizing the GPU to produce physX effects.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceOlin Coles 2010-08-29 13:28
The demo version wasn't used for this review; it's the full retail version of the game.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: Mafia-II Video Game PerformanceK 2010-08-29 13:32
Aye. However, there's always the possibility. And it's probably no effort just to doublecheck. ;)
Report Comment
 
 
# wtfTeflon 2010-09-13 19:13
Moin! This is a strange benchmark!!! My Gtx 260 and phenom II x4 (@3ghz) can handle the game at the highest settings (1920x1080). getting a frame rate around 35. physx on high.
greetings from germany,
Tef
Report Comment
 
 
# problem with physxdiaeko 2011-07-20 08:34
the brand of my graphic card is intel and physx only supports nvidia
what should I do to run the game without physx?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: problem with physxOlin Coles 2011-07-20 10:38
You will have very poor performance without a 3D graphics accelerator. You can still disable PhysX in the games video options, if you want to try. I suggest reducing all setting to their minimum.
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter