|Mafia-II Video Game Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 23 August 2010|
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Testing & Results
VGA Testing Methodology
The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System.
According to the Steam Hardware Survey published for the month ending May 2010, the most popular gaming resolution is 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors). However, because this 1.31MP resolution is considered 'low' by most standards, our benchmark performance tests concentrate on higher-demand resolutions: 1.76MP 1680x1050 (22-24" widescreen LCD) and 2.30MP 1920x1200 (24-28" widescreen LCD monitors). These resolutions are more likely to be used by high-end graphics solutions, such as those tested in this article.
In each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts.
Intel X58-Express Test System
Measured at 1920x1200 resolution, Mafia II placed ample demand on all four graphics cards tested. The video settings in Mafia II are comprehensive, and offer everything from antialiasing (on or off) and anisotropic filtering (1/2/4/8/16x) to ambient occlusion (on or off) and APEX PhysX (off/medium/high). Our benchmark tests use all settings configured to their highest quality, and then added medium or high APEX PhysX.
Measured without APEX PhysX, the GeForce GTX 460 is the lowest performer when compared to a group of high-performance video cards. What's impressive is that once APEX PhysX is turned on (to Medium), the performance perks right up and surpasses even the Radeon HD 5870. With APEX PhysX set to High, notice that there's very little difference in frame rate performance between this test and those conducted with Medium PhysX.
Mafia II is clearly dependant on PhysX technology to deliver realistic scenery and physics, which means that ATI Radeon products will rely on the system's central processor to help compensate. Even when most of the PhysX work is offloaded to the CPU, ATI Radeon video cards earn a significant performance penalty trying to accept the features graphical demand. 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.