|PowerColor AX6990 4GBD5-M4D Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Sunday, 20 March 2011|
Page 14 of 19
METRO 2033 DX11 Benchmark Results
Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror, and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows. Metro 2033 uses the 4A game engine, developed by 4A Games. The 4A Engine supports DirectX-9, 10, and 11, along with NVIDIA PhysX and GeForce 3D Vision.
The 4A engine is multi-threaded in that only PhysX has a dedicated thread, and it uses a task-model without any pre-conditioning or pre/post-synchronizing, thus allowing tasks to be done in parallel. The 4A game engine can utilize a deferred shading pipeline, and uses tessellation for greater performance, and also has HDR (complete with blue shift), real-time reflections, color correction, film grain and noise, and the engine also supports multi-core rendering.
Metro 2033 featured superior volumetric fog, double PhysX precision, object blur, sub-surface scattering for skin shaders, parallax mapping on all surfaces and greater geometric detail with a less aggressive LODs. Using PhysX, the engine uses many features such as destructible environments, and cloth and water simulations, and particles that can be fully affected by environmental factors.
NVIDIA has been diligently working to promote Metro 2033, and for good reason: it is the most demanding PC video game we've ever tested. When an overclocked GeForce GTX 480 struggles to produce 29 FPS, you know that only the strongest graphics processors will generate playable frame rates. All of my tests use the in-game benchmark that was added to the game as DLC earlier this year. Advanced Depth of Field and Tessellation effects are enabled, but the advanced PhysX option is disabled to provide equal load to both AMD and NVIDIA cards. All tests are run with 4x MSAA, which produces the highest load of the two anti-aliasing choices.
The Radeon HD 6990 cleans up in Metro 2033, finally getting well and truly above that line in the sand that's drawn at 30 FPS. Don't compare these results directly with our first HD 6990 test; this one was done with the more challenging 4x MSAA, compared to the AAA setting on the earlier tests. It makes a big difference in the results, and not so much on the screen. I don't think the added realism is worth it, and normally use the AAA for gameplay, but it makes sense to use the most demanding settings for benchmarking. Unfortunately, PhysX is disabled for all testing, although it only extracted about a 2 FPS penalty when it was enabled with an NVIDIA card installed. The minor hit in frame rates is fully justified in terms of the additional realism that PhysX imparts to the gameplay. It adds a lot more credibility to the graphics than any amount of anti-aliasing, no matter what type...
At the higher screen resolution of 1920x1200, the PowerColor HD 6990 continues to pull away from the rest of the graphics cards. The extra shaders and the 2 GB of memory for each GPU really help out with this game at higher resolutions. The Radeon HD 6950 put in its best performance on this, the toughest benchmark we have in the whole test suite, and the HD 6990 continues the tradition. Most of these are all barely playable frame rates, however. The Radeon HD 6990 is the only card that's in the mix today that can play this game with all the stops pulled out.
In our next section, we are going to complete our DirectX 11 testing with a look at an unusual DX11 benchmarks, straight from mother Russia and the studios of Unigine. Their latest benchmark is called "Heaven", and it has some very interesting and non-typical graphics. So, let's take a peek at what Heaven v2.1 looks like.