Developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released by THQ in March 2010, Metro 2033 is a first person shooter video game that takes place in post apocalyptic Moscow. 4A Games was founded by former employees of GSC Game World, a year before the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.
The PC version of Metro 2033 received an average score of 81% on Metacritic. A sequel to Metro 2033, titled Metro: Last Light, is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2013.
Metro 2033 - Prologue Gameplay
Delivering state-of-the-art technology and graphics, Metro 2033 makes use of NVIDIA PhysX, supported by GeForce-based graphics cards and a console Software Development Kit (SDK) for Xbox 360.
Graphics settings in Metro 2033 are based on the DirectX level and Quality setting. Shown below are settings under DirectX 10 and Medium, High, and Very High detail. Information for the settings are provided in the Description section.
For example, under Medium and High quality, Analytical Antialiasing (AAA) is disabled.
Under Very High quality, AAA is enabled. Unlike Multisampling Antialiasing (MSAA), AAA does not rely on edge-detection. It is rather a post-processing effect implemented by modifying fragment shaders in order to provide smooth transitions in hard-edged regions.
Very High Quality
AAA is similar to Supersampling Antialiasing (SSAA). The shader internally doubles the resolution of the framebuffer using pattern and shape detection and then scales it back to original resolution producing an antialiased scene. AAA is faster to compute than MSAA or SSAA, but is not as effective visually.
Note that Tesselation and Depth of Field (DOF) are only available under DirectX 11. Note that DOF was not enabled during any of the benchmark results.
The following table lists the key PC system components that were used to benchmark Metro 2033.
Test System Components
Intel Core i7 940 Quad Core @2.93GHz
6GB Corsair Dominator DDR3 @1333MHz
Graphics Procesing Unit
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
The standalone executable "benchmark.exe", which is located under the "steamapps" folder, was used to benchmark Metro 2033. The Frontline map was selected, which can be viewed in the video clip below.
Benchmarks were run at the resolutions of 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. Both bar charts show results from DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 along with Medium, High and Very High detail settings. Again, AAA is only enabled under Very High quality.
Metro 2033 Performance - 1920x1200
At the resolution of 1920x1200, the GeForce GTX 680 offers "playable" performance up to Very High quality where the minimum frame rate under DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 were both 15 fps.
Metro 2033 Performance - 2560x1600
At the resolution of 2560x1600, the GeForce GTX 680 handles the load at Medium and High detail settings. However, at the Very High detail setting, the game is basically "unplayable." However, gamplay through part of the Prologue yielded an average of 47 fps and minimum of 26.
Metro 2033 - Prologue Gameplay
In addition to AAA, Metro 2033 supports 4x MSAA and those benchmark results appear below. Results at the resolution of 16850x1050 were also included to better determine the impact on performance.
Metro 2033 Antialiasing Performance
Using 4x MSAA in Metro 2033 causes another large hit on performance and it's unlikely that "playable" frame rates can be achieved due to the low minimum frame rates.
While many PC games remain single-threaded, we've been seeing a trickle of titles over the past few years that are multi-threaded. One of those games is Metro 2033. Not only does the graphics sub-system affect performance in Metro 2033, but the number of processor cores can adversely affect performance. For example, examine the following benchmark results based on the number of processors that were enabled under Windows 7.
Metro 2033 Multi-Core Performance
It's not until 4 cores were enabled, that a "playable" frame rate was achieved with an average of 57 fps and a minimum of 30 fps. It appears that Metro 2033 tops out at 6 processor cores as those results are virtually the same as the 8 processor core results. With the Intel i7 940, there are 4 "physical" processor cores and 4 "logical" processor cores via Hyperthreading technology.
Advanced Boot Options - Windows 7
Note: To set the number of processor cores under Windows 7, run "msconfig.exe", click the Boot tab, then click Advanced options.
Metro 2033 is a demanding game and requires high-end hardware to play at high levels of detail. However, this type of benchmark is very useful when comparing the next-generation of GPUs to determine the speed enchancements that may be present.