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Old 11-09-10, 10:46 AM   #4
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Performance Results

Gaming Tests

Metro 2033 (THQ)

This heavily system-intensive benchmark was tested using an average of three runs of the in-game benchmark in DX11 mode (with tessellation ON)at 1920x1080, 16x AF with both available Antialiasing options (4xAA and AAA), in several different settings configurations. Note: GPU PhysX was set to auto-select.
  • Setting A: Quality: Very High; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; DOF: Enabled
  • Setting B: Quality: Very High; Advanced PhysX: Disabled; DOF: Enabled
  • Setting C: Quality: Very High; Advanced PhysX: Disabled; DOF: Disabled
  • Setting D: Quality: High; Advanced PhysX: Disabled; DOF: Disabled



With the NVIDIA Control Panel setting for Antialiasing set to Application select, Metro 2033 used its own AA method for the AAA setting, and this resulted in higher performance than with 4x Multisampling. Whatever the case, even the 25.67 fps average for setting A (all the bells and whistles, I mean ALL of them) at 1920x1080 with 4x AA is a huge result. In my opinion, the pacing of this game (a bit Halo-like) makes it more tolerable at some of the lower framerates, so these results for the most part indicate an almost across-the-board playability, although the real sweet spot is the Very High setting, PhysX disabled, DOF off (setting C), and AAA, resulting in a 46.5 fps average. This game looks amazing, and the GTX 580 delivers a breathtaking experience.

Lost Planet 2 (Capcom)

Utilizing the MT Framework engine, Lost Planet 2 has continued the cutting-edge graphical qualities introduced with the previous game in the series, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. Previous NV News reviews have utilized other MT Framework titles (the aforementioned Lost Planet 1 and Resident Evil 5), but the DirectX 11 features of this new title make it a must for any modern DX11 GPU review.

Again, I have investigated several available AA modes. Global settings:
  • Benchmarking Test: Test B
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Motion Blur: On
  • Shadow Detail: High
  • Texture Detail: High
  • Rendering Level: High
  • DirectX 11 Features: High
  • Anisotropic Filtering: 16x

While AA isn't quite free yet, it is worth noting that just 4x AA itself provides great image quality to start out with, and going all the way to 32x CSAA decreases performance by an almost insignificant level at this resolution. With 4x AA providing 51 fps and 32x CSAA providing 45.7, it is pretty much up to the user and their own preference of AA mode to decide what offers the best visual fidelity to them. Again, a stellar performance by the GTX 580 in a boundary-pushing title.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (DICE/EA)

This is somewhat of a first-generation DX11 title in that it doesn't use tessellation, but the usage of DX11 soft shadows is noteworthy. Again, I tested a multitude of AA settings to see what kind of performance hit is incurred in this popular title.
  • INI file tweak: FOV: 78
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Level of Detail: High
  • Texture Quality: High
  • Shadow Quality: High
  • Effects Quality: High
  • Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
  • HBAO: On

Unless you're an absolute frames-per-second junkie, it makes sense to employ the highest levels of AA possible with this title. Testing for disparities between SP and MP performance, I checked out a couple full servers playing the Atacama Desert map with 32x CSAA selected. With a min/max/avg of 52/98/77.3, performance was similar between the two game modes. This is a great-looking title regardless of AA mode (as long as SOME form of AA is used), but thee ability of the GTX 580 to provide more than playable framerates using 32x Coverage Sample Antialiasing is remarkable.

Tom Clancy's HAWX (UBI)

Though this isn't a newer title any more, it still offers compelling visuals and an exciting gaming experience. This DX10 title uses advanced SSAO (Screen-Space Ambient Occlusion) for advanced lighting as well as Depth of Field , HDR and engine heat effects.
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
  • View Distance: High
  • Forest: High
  • Environment: High
  • Texture Quality: High
  • HDR: On
  • Engine Heat: On
  • DOF: On
  • Shadows: High
  • Sun Shafts: High
  • SSAO: Very High
  • DirectX 10.1: On

I only evaluated two A modes in this game, and likely should have used Application Override to see how the game looked using 32x AA, as it's easy to see that the GTX 580 eats this title for lunch with the lower-class AA options. The visuals of this title still hold up, and this new GPU proves again that it's more than up to the task.

Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Benchmark (UBI)

Using some of the most advanced hardware-based tessellation techniques of any game, the eagerly anticipated sequel to HAWX places you back in the pilot seat for more aerial excitement. The tessellation applied to terrain gives this game a unique look, and despite the fact that the world goes by so quickly in a jet airplane the sometimes-subtle improvement in visual fidelity sometimes adds up with other graphical enhancements to make this new title look quite bit nicer than its predecessor.

With the HAWX 2 benchmark, I again tested various AA modes to evaluate their impact on a moderately-high resolution using a high-end GPU.
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
  • Terrain Tessellation: On
  • View Distance: High
  • Environment: High
  • Texture Quality: High
  • Postprocessing: On
  • Depth of Field: On
  • Particle Density: High
  • Shadows: On

I went into this benchmark thinking that with this being a sort of “second-generation DX11 title”, the GTX would have trouble keeping framerates high. I was surprised to find that this benchmarks actually shows higher performance on the GTX 580 hardware than HAWX 1 provided. 120 fps with 32x CSAA was quite an amazing result. There is a little bit of controversy surrounding the use of this benchmark, with AMD asserting that the results on NVIDIA hardware are unrealistic. I will look into this further over the next couple weeks, as I want to make sure that the performance figures I show for this advanced title are #1 representative of real gameplay and #2 not unnecessarily optimized. The NDA for the full version of HAWX 2 lifts late in the day November 9, 2010, and I will likely use the full version of the new game to evaluate real-life gameplay.

Just Cause 2 Demo (Eidos)

A TWIMTBP title, Just Casue 2 uses some advanced graphical effects such as a Bokeh filter for advanced water rendering. I am actually not clear as to whether this is a DX10 or DX11 title, however, but this is new-ish and very good-looking title. Again, I investigated various AA modes.
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
  • Texture Detail: High
  • Shadows Quality: High
  • Water Detail: Very High
  • Objects Detail: Very High
  • Decals: On
  • Soft Particles: On
  • Hi-Res Shadows: On
  • SSAO: High
  • Point Light Specular: On
  • Bokeh Filter: On
  • Enhanced Water Detail: On
  • Motion Blur: On

I couldn't seem to locate the “GPU water” setting, but the game was still set to extremely high visual fidelity settings. If I can locate said setting then I will edit these results and include the “GPU water” results.

Again, it's almost like the AA IS free. Obviously, with all the bells and whistles turned on, the GTX 580 is stressed even at 1920x1080, but it holds its ground and still delivers 54.88 fps with 32x MSAA.

Far Cry 2 (UBI)

It seems like this games has been a benchmark staple forever. Although the game itself has received mixed reviews for its long and drawn out sandbox gameplay, its visuals are still top-notch, and did prove to be fairly comparable to Crysis.

I utilized the Far Cry 2 benchmarking tool which helps create repeatable benchmark runs of different settings. I evaluated three different AA settings. In previous tests of Far Cry 2 I had specified an AF setting, but in reading the review guide, NVIDIA said that AF settings don't apply properly to the benchmarking tool, so it's best for AF to be set to Application Preference in the NVIDIA Control Panel. If you the reader have any feedback on my take on this, please discuss it in the NV News forums.
  • Demo(Ranch Small)
  • 1920x1080 (60Hz)
  • D3D10
  • Fixed Time Step(No)
  • Disable Artificial Intelligence(Yes)
  • Full Screen
  • Vsync(No)
  • Overall Quality(Ultra High)
  • Vegetation(Very High)
  • Shading(Ultra High)
  • Terrain(Ultra High), Geometry(Ultra High)
  • Post FX(High)
  • Texture(Ultra High)
  • Shadow(Ultra High)
  • Ambient(High)
  • Hdr(Yes)
  • Bloom(Yes)
  • Fire(Very High)
  • Physics(Very High)
  • RealTrees(Very High)

It is very “pleasurable” to experience a GPU running a graphically-intensive game smoothly, and is even nicer when you an see that something like 8x MSAA really doesn't impact performance all that much. Icing on top of the cake is the ~50 fps minimum even at 8x AA.
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