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Darkest of Days Performance Testing Review

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The object of the exercise here is to see just how well a short list of the higher end video cards from both ATI and Nvidia compare in this Physx-heavy first-person shooter. To make sure this test is not entirely biased, I will run Darkest of Days with both High and Low Physx settings to show just how well each card performs with and without Physx calculations done on the GPU. When I ran this type of test on one of the first really Physx-heavy games, Mirrors Edge, the cards from ATI performed less than spectacularly with Physx enabled in game, while the Nvidia cards gave you the full experience during game play. By disabling Physx, the performance of the video cards was a horse race of sorts, and not a totally one sided race, to be precise. To perform this testing, I will be using my tried and true Core i7 920 testing rig, with the latest drivers from Nvidia 190.62 and ATI Catalyst 9.9. The settings in the respective control panels will be left at default.


Testing Setup:

Comparison Video Cards:


Game Settings:

  • 4x Anti-Aliasing
  • 16x Anisotrophic Filtering
  • Physx: High
  • Ambient Occlusion: On
  • Quality: High
  • Reolution: 1280x1024 - 2560x1600




Higher is Better


With Physx set to high and 4x AA and 16xAF, this game is tough on all the cards. The GTX 295 finished below the GTX 285/GTS 250 combo that takes the Physx workload off of the primary graphics adapter. In this test, even the lowly GTS 250 beats up on the best card ATI currently has to offer. The Physx effects are clearly visible throughout the game and brings a visual quality to the table that makes the game more enjoyable. By reducing the anti-aliasing to 2x or even off entirely, you can increase the performance while keeping the visual effects.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Testing: Setup & High Physx
  3. Testing: Low Physx
  4. Conclusion
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