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Test System And Settings

Aliens Vs. Predator: DirectX 11 Game Performance Analyzed
By

We tested a solid sample of cards from our Best Graphics Cards for the Money column, and even a few more. We tested Radeons from the Radeon HD 5570 to the Radeon HD 5870 and most of the cards in between. We also included Radeon HD 5850s in CrossFire mode. On the Nvidia side, we tested boards from the GeForce 9600 GT to the GeForce GTX 260.

We chose the newest available Nvidia 197.13 drivers and the Catalyst 10.3 preview drivers available at underground.amd.com. We don't usually opt for prerelease drivers, but AMD recommended the new 10.3 drivers, which can be mated to the new catalyst profile updates.


Graphic Test System
CPU

Intel Core i7-920 (Bloomfield), 2.67 GHz, QPI-4200, 8MB Shared L3 Cache
Overclocked to 3.06 GHz @ 153 MHz BCLK

Motherboard

ASRock X58 SuperComputer
Intel X58, BIOS P1.90

Networking
Onboard Realtek Gigabit LAN controller
Memory

Kingston PC3-10700
3 x 1,024MB, DDR3-1225, CL 9-9-9-22-1T

Graphics

Reference Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR3
Gigabyte  GeForce 9600 GT 1GB DDR3
Reference Radeon HD 5670 512MB GDDR5
Gigabyte GeForce 8800 GT 512MB DDR3 (representing GeForce 9800 GT)
Asus ENGTS250 DK 1GB DDR3
XFX Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5
XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5
Asus ENGTX260 796MB DDR3
Reference Radeon HD 5830 1GB GDDR5
XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition 1GB GDDR5
PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 LCS 1GB GDDR5

*all clock rates have been set to reference specifications for the purpose of benchmarking

Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA,
500GB, 7,200 RPM, 8MB cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Power

Thermaltake Toughpower 1,200W
1,200W, ATX 12V 2.2, EPS 12v 2.91

Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX versionDirectX 11
Graphics Drivers

AMD Catalyst 10.3 Preview with the Jan. 21 Catalyst profile update and Nvidia GeForce Driver 197.13

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    Kelavarus , April 22, 2010 6:19 AM
    The thing is, same with DirectX 10, you aren't going to see considerable difference unless it's coded specifically for that API. I have seen some absolutely amazing things done with DirectX 10, but only because the engine was purely for DirectX 10, and to my knowledge, no one has even attempted that with DirectX 11 yet anyway.

    To reach the broader audience, games are coded with DirectX 9 in mind then have DX10/11 tacked on with a few features.

    We're not going to see much of a jump until DX9 is dropped completely, and especially with consoles running around DX9-ish, it's not going to happen till they upgrade, probably. Just my 2c.
  • 14 Hide
    Tridec , April 22, 2010 9:07 AM
    I really can't understand why you didn't use the older ATI 48xx series cards in your review. It would seem logical to do so as there are a lot of your readers with previous gen cards that are thinking about upgrading. You guys did use the Nvidia 260 and even the older Nvidia 9800 GT, but not the "populair" Ati cards.
Other Comments
  • 32 Hide
    Kelavarus , April 22, 2010 6:19 AM
    The thing is, same with DirectX 10, you aren't going to see considerable difference unless it's coded specifically for that API. I have seen some absolutely amazing things done with DirectX 10, but only because the engine was purely for DirectX 10, and to my knowledge, no one has even attempted that with DirectX 11 yet anyway.

    To reach the broader audience, games are coded with DirectX 9 in mind then have DX10/11 tacked on with a few features.

    We're not going to see much of a jump until DX9 is dropped completely, and especially with consoles running around DX9-ish, it's not going to happen till they upgrade, probably. Just my 2c.
  • 2 Hide
    Annisman , April 22, 2010 6:29 AM
    I will say one thing, DX11 is a new api, and though the differences in screenshots is minute, it's great to see no performance loss going with DX11. I think it took a whole year or more to actually see performance increases with DX10 vs. DX 9.

    So that is one thing you can take out of this.
  • -2 Hide
    haplo602 , April 22, 2010 6:42 AM
    "Rebellion Gets A Third Swing At AvP" I thing that should be second swing, as AvP 2 was done by Monolith. Or swing at the third installment :-)

    Anyway, the original AvP was the best single and multiplayer pure FPS I ever played. The Alien was the king there, incredibly fast and agile and if done right, one hit killing anything in the game except a marine with a smartgun and head on (or predator with plasma guns in the same situation) :-) ...

    The second AvP failed miserably in all aspects maybe except story telling ... I have to have a look at the current one still ... but from your description, I guess I won't like it. Marine with melee against Aliens ? W T H !!!!
  • 3 Hide
    matt87_50 , April 22, 2010 7:12 AM
    KelavarusThe thing is, same with DirectX 10, you aren't going to see considerable difference unless it's coded specifically for that API. I have seen some absolutely amazing things done with DirectX 10, but only because the engine was purely for DirectX 10, and to my knowledge, no one has even attempted that with DirectX 11 yet anyway.To reach the broader audience, games are coded with DirectX 9 in mind then have DX10/11 tacked on with a few features. We're not going to see much of a jump until DX9 is dropped completely, and especially with consoles running around DX9-ish, it's not going to happen till they upgrade, probably. Just my 2c.


    good points, all true.

    the biggest thing with DX10 was that it was vista only, no XP. as people flock to win7 with dx11 built in, that won't be such a big problem. also, dx11 doesn't really add much, it just kinda improves on dx10 and adds a couple of really useful things that should actually make life easier for everyone (kinda like win7 compared to vista I suppose) it adds proper multi threading in the drivers and allows the rendering engines to be multi threaded now. this is just a software thing too, so its not really hardware dependant (you don't need dx11 hardware to benefit) the other really useful feature added is tessellation. which is something that devs already do manually, and painfully in dx9 games. if anything its probably better for developers production times than it is for the end user! no complex art pipelines or engines, automatic performance scaling (the card knows how fast it is and can dynamically allocate the right proportion of triangles to every object in order to reach an exact total frame poly budget). it also adds compute shader. all of these things don't really add anything new, we had tessellation on GPGPU before, but it was all third party and more convoluted, so its more about ease of development than new stuff. don't take that the wrong way though. ease of development should lead to much bigger leaps and bounds in graphics than new features that everyone was too scared to use anyway.
  • 2 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 22, 2010 7:27 AM
    Sounds like the new avp faces the same problem borderlands does - it's too easy! I compare borderlands with fallout 3 as they feel about the same. But in borderlands you've got this constant pointer to exactly where you're supposed to go - which makes you not even try to read the actually mission briefings - and when you've just downed a boss you stop and think 'what ? this easy?'
    Dumbing down's been seen in wow since burning crusade too. I suppose developers are just broadening their potential customer base by making the games so simple that any 10 year old can play them sufficiently well.
  • 1 Hide
    XxOsurfer3xX , April 22, 2010 7:56 AM
    Depends on how you play borderlands, if you go to misions over your level is not that easy..
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 22, 2010 8:06 AM
    XxOsurfer3xXDepends on how you play borderlands, if you go to misions over your level is not that easy..

    Yes it is.
    Sure 3 levels over you, and you do next to no damage - but you don't die, you simply run out of ammo!
    I solved the difficulty level problem by running a lan game and have two other of my chars join. Now there's a feeling of difficulty in playthough 2, but given the directions you're still just following pointers and aren't really immersed in the plot at any rate. You don't have to think, just shoot. Could's well play cs or some other shooter
  • 14 Hide
    Tridec , April 22, 2010 9:07 AM
    I really can't understand why you didn't use the older ATI 48xx series cards in your review. It would seem logical to do so as there are a lot of your readers with previous gen cards that are thinking about upgrading. You guys did use the Nvidia 260 and even the older Nvidia 9800 GT, but not the "populair" Ati cards.
  • 0 Hide
    Tomtompiper , April 22, 2010 9:31 AM
    Third swipe, the first AvP was for the Atari Jaguar, by Rebellion and was a cracker.
  • 3 Hide
    ssddx , April 22, 2010 11:40 AM
    Don Woligroski, I must say that is a very nicely written article! I've only been seeing your name more recently; are you new to Toms?

    As for the games themselves: I would have to disagree on the second avp being a failure. The game packs everything you state the first one got right. I would also have to say that the multiplayer is(was) excellent. Theres nothing quite like dropping 150 feet as an alien onto some poor guys head (and the things he would say too!)

    Do people still play AVP2 online? If so I might have to get myself into a match for a quick fix.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 22, 2010 11:44 AM
    ssddxDon Woligroski, I must say that is a very nicely written article! I've only been seeing your name more recently; are you new to Toms?


    Maybe you just didn't pay attention?
    He's the guy writing all the best graphics and best cpu for gaming every month.... and he's writing all the articles on new directx and most new gpu architecture articles ... basicly he is tom's grahpics expert.
    He's by no means new to toms.
  • 4 Hide
    Reynod , April 22, 2010 12:13 PM
    Well done again Don.

    The cpu utilisation bit at the end was also an interesting addon ... and of interest to those with lower end PC's ... they can buy a game like this with confidence providing they have a quality graphics card.

    The AMD Phenom box @ 2Ghz also outperformed the i7 @ 3Ghz ... chuckle ... 2 , 3, and 4 cores active.

    :) 
  • -7 Hide
    we_san , April 22, 2010 12:21 PM
    TridecI really can't understand why you didn't use the older ATI 48xx series cards in your review. It would seem logical to do so as there are a lot of your readers with previous gen cards that are thinking about upgrading. You guys did use the Nvidia 260 and even the older Nvidia 9800 GT, but not the "populair" Ati cards.

    Like you never know, Tom Is Always Towards Nvidia, perhaps ATi 48xx series beat Nvidia 260 and 9800GT in this game.
  • 4 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 22, 2010 12:27 PM
    we_sanLike you never know, Tom Is Always Towards Nvidia, perhaps ATi 48xx series beat Nvidia 260 and 9800GT in this game.

    Prove it! toms is as neutral as can be!
  • -4 Hide
    we_san , April 22, 2010 12:44 PM
    ATI2ndbestATIdiots, trolls get a grip. Your 5 series tested in DX9 is the same as the 4 series would give. Your 5 series is a rebrand of the 4 series with eyefinity, grey screening and monitor flickering thrown in for good measure. rofl

    Nvidiots are made first. So find another. Why just Nvidia can't make GTS250, GT220, GT240, (9 series also rebrand) support dx11.
  • -8 Hide
    kikireeki , April 22, 2010 12:52 PM
    I really don't get it! you have said that enabling DX11 features in this game has no down effect on the performance, but when the VERY UNIQUE ddx11 exclusive AA is enabled the frames dropped to the half, and in some cases the game became unplayable!
    So I think that this review proves that DX11 is still a concept!
    and AFAIK "Tessellation" is meant to make the game perform better, not to look better!
  • 3 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 22, 2010 12:57 PM
    kikireekiI really don't get it! you have said that enabling DX11 features in this game has no down effect on the performance, but when the VERY UNIQUE ddx11 exclusive AA is enabled the frames dropped to the half, and in some cases the game became unplayable!So I think that this review proves that DX11 is still a concept! and AFAIK "Tessellation" is meant to make the game perform better, not to look better!

    DX11 has no appearent visual improvement in store, it merely makes the game run a tad faster. On top of that the developers decided to not allow AA options in dx9 - which has nothing to do with directx, but everything with the developers.
    Did you read the article?

    Besides, the framerates only drop if you enable AA - which they would've done if it was available in dx9 as well.
  • 1 Hide
    we_san , April 22, 2010 1:03 PM
    kikireekiI really don't get it! you have said that enabling DX11 features in this game has no down effect on the performance, but when the VERY UNIQUE ddx11 exclusive AA is enabled the frames dropped to the half, and in some cases the game became unplayable!So I think that this review proves that DX11 is still a concept! and AFAIK "Tessellation" is meant to make the game perform better, not to look better!

    AFAIK, Tessellation is meant to adding more polygons (to look better) but without putting much more load to the GPU (low impact on performance). I think Neiro is right that AA is the cause of the frames drop.
  • 0 Hide
    ScoobyJooby-Jew , April 22, 2010 1:28 PM
    there was a massive change in fps when going from a 5750 to a 5770 whilst in dx11. 10 fps across all the benches. Man, its not playable on a 5750 in dx11. Dx11 is a bummer for me then. :( 
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