|PowerColor AX6990 4GBD5-M4D Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Sunday, 20 March 2011|
Page 10 of 19
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Test Results
The Battlefield franchise has been known to demand a lot from PC graphics hardware. DICE (Digital Illusions CE) has incorporated their Frostbite-1.5 game engine with Destruction-2.0 feature set with Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 features destructible environments using Frostbit Destruction-2.0, and adds gravitational bullet drop effects for projectiles shot from weapons at a long distance. The Frostbite-1.5 game engine used on Battlefield: Bad Company 2 consists of DirectX-10 primary graphics, with improved performance and softened dynamic shadows added for DirectX-11 users. At the time Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was published, DICE was also working on the Frostbite-2.0 game engine. This upcoming engine will include native support for DirectX-10.1 and DirectX-11, as well as parallelized processing support for 2-8 parallel threads. This will improve performance for users with an Intel Core-i7 processor.
In our benchmark tests of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the first three minutes of action in the single-player raft night scene are captured with FRAPS. Relative to the online multiplayer action, these frame rate results are nearly identical to daytime maps with the same video settings.
This is a game that favors the Green Team, without a doubt. Across the board, we've routinely seen competitive matchups where the NVIDIA card puts up better numbers. The Radeon HD 6990 finally gets a leg up for AMD and posts FPS numbers that are roughly 20 FPS better than the competition from either side. Of course, there is that $700 purchase price to consider... This is not as tough a benchmark as some others; the developers trod a fine line between juicing up the visuals and keeping the performance levels up. This benchmark does not utilize tessellation, so as in our DX10 testing, the strength of the newest GPUs in this area are not having an impact here. Don't worry; we'll see some results later that will show clear differences between the generations with some tessellation-heavy titles.
The little-documented feature in the basic game setup, which allows the application to choose which DirectX API it uses during the session, is not a factor here. All of the tested cards here are DX11-capable, and the game was running in DX11 mode for all the test results reported here. Even though this is primarily developed as a DX10 game, there are DX11 features incorporated in BF:BC2, like softened shadows. That one visual enhancement takes a small, but measureable toll on frame rates. It doesn't have as big an impact as aggressive use of tessellation would, either from the visuals standpoint or the computing perspective.
In the next section we use one of my favorite games, DiRT-2, to look at DX11 performance. Life isn't ALL about shooting aliens; sometimes you just need to get out of the city and drive...!