|XFX Radeon R7950 Black Edition Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 30 January 2012|
Page 9 of 18
DX11: Batman: Arkham City
If there was ever a game that showcased the growing gap between game consoles and high-end gaming PCs, Batman: Arkham City is it. In this dystopian near-future, part of Gotham City has been walled off as an enclave for criminals (rather like Escape from New York). It's a 3d-person action game that adheres to story line previously set forth in Batman: Arkham Asylum, and is based on an updated Unreal Engine 3 game engine. Batman: Arkham City is a DirectX 11 title that uses multi-threaded rendering to produce life-like tessellation effects.
One annoyance with the game is that all game settings must be made through a hidden application called "BMLauncher". Once you've made your settings, though, an in-game benchmark provides the feedback you'll need to tune your system's performance.
The AMD Radeon graphics cards are at a disadvantage here, since, like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City is a showcase of PhysX effects, which can be directly accelerated by NVIDIA cards but not by AMD cards. Some might argue that turning PhysX off would provide a fairer comparison, but the extensive PhysX effects are such in integral part of the game I decided to leave them on. In this case, the CPU provides PhysX computations, and while the Intel Core i7-3960X processor is a best-case example, I'd expect similar performance from a 2500K or 2600K, since the per-core performance of these CPUs is similar to that of the 3960X.
Note that the dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 turns in the same frame rates as the 6970. This is almost certainly because AMD doesn't have a CrossFireX profile for this new game, thus the card runs in single-GPU mode. But the Tahiti-core cards are a solid 36% faster than the previous-generation cards, and are solidly playable frame rates even with PhysX enabled. That's impressive.
Cost Analysis: Arkham City (1920x1200)
Test Summary: Although the HD 7970 is at a disadvantage here with its lack of PhysX support, it still turns in very playable frame rates. Oddly, the overclocked score is virtually identical to the stock clocked score.