Lost Planet 2 Performance Previewccokeman -
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Testing the performance of some of today's top of the line video cards in this sequel to Lost Planet will involve running each card through the benchmark test B. Test B is a scene that repeats identically each time to provide run-to-run consistency, while test A is random in nature, meaning the results are not comparable - thus why we've chosen to use test B. Each run is made three times, with the results averaged to provide the final numbers. The settings used in game are set to the highest level, with the exception of the AA setting that will be set to 4X for each card. The latest drivers from both NVIDIA and ATI will be used for this test. At this time, that would be the 258.96 package for NVIDIA and 10.7 Catalyst suite for ATI.
- Processor: Intel Core I7 920
- CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: MSI X58 Eclipse SLI
- Memory: Mushkin Redline Modules 996805 6-8-6-24 1600MHz
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: NEC DV5700
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Case: Thermaltake Armor +
- NVIDIA GTX 480
- Inno3D GTX 470 Hawk
- ASUS ENGTX465
- Palit Sonic GTX 460
- Sapphire HD 5870
- Sapphire HD 5850
- Sapphire HD 5770 VaporX
When you load up the benchmark, you have the option of running it in either DirectX 9 or DirectX 11 mode. I will be testing the game in DirectX 11 mode to show the level of performance delivered in this game. There are two benchmark runs labeled "A" and "B". I will be using the B benchmark run, since it is not random in nature like version A.
Playing Lost Planet 2 in DirectX 11 mode is a more satisfying experience, as you get more depth to the environment and its inhabitants. Add in NVIDIA 3D Vision and 3D Vison Surround and you another level of visual satisfaction. To reach this level of detail though, it does take its toll on the video card's performance. At this point in the game's development, the compute architecture of NVIDIA's Fermi-based product line does deliver a higher level of performance when the eye candy is turned up, from the top to bottom of the ladder. As an example, you have a $250 video card in the GTX 460 taking on, and beating, the best single GPU card that ATI brings to the table at any price point, most importantly at the $200 to $300 price point. The Palit Sonic GTX 460 is almost $40 less expensive than the HD 5850, making it the value leader for this game. The $200~300 price point is where most of the people purchasing a new GPU are spending their money to get their gaming fix. At this point, if Lost Planet is your game of choice, the NVIDIA option is the way to go. When it comes down to raw performance in this game, the GF100 (104) cards show off the strengths of NVIDIA's compute architecture, leaving ATI wondering what hit them.