Batman: Arkham Asylum: GPUs, CPUs, And PhysX Performance

Benchmark Results: High Detail, 4x AA

For whatever reason, the game's settings menu can only enable AA when using GeForce cards. When you when using the Radeon cards, AA must be enabled through the Catalyst Control Center. This is slightly annoying, mostly because I don't understand why this is the case. Some say it's an underhanded effort by Nvidia to handicap ATI cards (Batman is a TWIMTBP title, after all), while others claim that ATI's developer relations team didn't move fast enough to get AA implemented. Whatever the case, here are the results.

While the Radeon and GeForce cards were neck and neck with their counterparts before, the GeForce boards take a massive lead once AA is enabled. The GeForce 9600 GT even manages to beat out the Radeon HD 4850 at 2560x1600, although it's not much of a real-world victory since both of these cards are relegated to playing back a slide show.

The GeForce GTS 250, Radeon HD 4870, and GeForce GTX 260 manage to deliver smooth frame rates all the way to 1920x1200, although at 2560x1600, only the GeForce GTX 260 manages a smooth minimum frame rate.

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  • JeanLuc
    NPD numbers show this game as currently being one of the least popular PC games - 92nd in fact.

    Nice article BTW, it's sad that the developers were paid off by Nvidia to drop support of AA on AMD cards (in game menu AA support that, there is a work round for ATI cards) as this shows just how morally bankrupt Nvidia is these days.

    And just for the record this isn't a case of AMD not 'supporting developers' as Nvidia would lead you to believe. Never mind the fact it can be enabled via a hack, Richard Hubby from AMD has uploaded an email he got from the developers of Batman Arkham Asylum saying there would be lawsuit if they changed to games code to enable game menu support of AA on ATI cards.
    13
  • curnel_D
    Don--it's almost as though the game is artificially capping performance at a set level, and is then using only the CPU resources it needs to reach that level. On the Core i7, PhysX is using fewer resources than it does on the Phenom II. This would make sense if there was an artificial performance cap, as the i7 has shown to outperform AMD's architecture.

    With Nvidia pushing proprietary API's like CUDA and PhysX, they're at a point where these things are some of the largest selling points of their products.

    With this in mind, and given Nvidia's past Anti-Consumer business practices, I think we can all expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the future with TWIMTBP games.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • burnley14
    Excellent article as usual, Mr. Woligroski. Keep up the good work!
    4
  • Kohlhagen
    I just bought an ATI 5000 series card.. can i use my second PCI-E slot with the nvidia 220 to support physX? (i doubt it because AMD/Nvidia GPUs together cause driver issues)
    1
  • curnel_D
    Don--it's almost as though the game is artificially capping performance at a set level, and is then using only the CPU resources it needs to reach that level. On the Core i7, PhysX is using fewer resources than it does on the Phenom II. This would make sense if there was an artificial performance cap, as the i7 has shown to outperform AMD's architecture.

    With Nvidia pushing proprietary API's like CUDA and PhysX, they're at a point where these things are some of the largest selling points of their products.

    With this in mind, and given Nvidia's past Anti-Consumer business practices, I think we can all expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the future with TWIMTBP games.
    12
  • 2shea
    @ kohlhagen: with an ati 5000 card you probably won't need that second card if you don't play on the highest resolution.
    -7
  • nzprogamer
    im a big fan of amd and im planing to buy the xfx 4850 in the weekend but the gts250 just add another $5-10 i think i will buy the GTS-250. come on ATI
    -20
  • anamaniac
    Wow... that's pathetic. This game should have the words stamped on it: Nvidia only!
    6
  • noob2222
    Interesting find on the CPU useage with ATI cards. It would appear that Nvidia programmed Physix not to unload programming to the cpu, instead forcing it to the GPU only. Just a speculation since it is thier option.
    4
  • sohei
    this game runs great on any hardware but but , nvidia is just nvidia
    why you sell a game to all the people when is just for nvidia cards ?
    that.s why i love google.... google sell free things, nvidia is the opposite
    -3
  • JeanLuc
    NPD numbers show this game as currently being one of the least popular PC games - 92nd in fact.

    Nice article BTW, it's sad that the developers were paid off by Nvidia to drop support of AA on AMD cards (in game menu AA support that, there is a work round for ATI cards) as this shows just how morally bankrupt Nvidia is these days.

    And just for the record this isn't a case of AMD not 'supporting developers' as Nvidia would lead you to believe. Never mind the fact it can be enabled via a hack, Richard Hubby from AMD has uploaded an email he got from the developers of Batman Arkham Asylum saying there would be lawsuit if they changed to games code to enable game menu support of AA on ATI cards.
    13
  • sohei
    when you benchmarked intel cpu you use turbo feature? tom
    0
  • descendency
    JeanLucthere is a work round for ATI cards) as this shows just how morally bankrupt Nvidia is these days.

    Just don't forget about those morally bankrupt Intel people!!!

    -NVidia.
    0
  • curnel_D
    descendencyJust don't forget about those morally bankrupt Intel people!!! -NVidia.

    There's one thing Intel has that Nvidia doesn't: A top performing product. With the 3xx series no where in sight, Nvidia seems to be relying more and more on their proprietary API's to sell their cards.

    While Intel leads the market in innovation, Nvidia seems like they would be completely content leaving graphics technology right where it's at, if they had the choice.
    9
  • curnel_D
    KohlhagenI just bought an ATI 5000 series card.. can i use my second PCI-E slot with the nvidia 220 to support physX? (i doubt it because AMD/Nvidia GPUs together cause driver issues)

    Yes, but only through old drivers or a workaround. I'm currently doing the same thing with a 4850x2 and a 9600 GSO.

    The PhysX API is a great thing. The guys who made it had a brilliant thing going. But it'd be a TON better if Nvidia converted it to the OpenCL standard. If they don't, it's going to end up as a 'could have been' technology.
    9
  • sohei
    "could have been' great words
    5
  • scrumworks
    Tom is pressing hard keeping nvidia in footlights these days. They don't have DX11 and they don't have mainstream/high end 40nm cards. Reviewing twimtbp PhysX title with nvidia's vendor lock AA implementation is one way to show how "nvidia cards rock".
    3
  • Ciuy
    PhysX sucks ...
    -2
  • alterecho
    aa can only be enabled if you have a geforce 8 series in this game. It is
    impossible to use in any ati cards.

    ati changed it's hardware id on one it's card and they were able to
    enable aa and guess what, the performance was same as that of geforce and not much performance hit. i think don forced aa via catalyst which cripples the frames.
    2
  • verrul
    wierd with a workaround as others have done ati cards 48xx cards get the free x4 aa something is really fishy with the physix though
    1
  • juliom
    scrumworksTom is pressing hard keeping nvidia in footlights these days. They don't have DX11 and they don't have mainstream/high end 40nm cards. Reviewing twimtbp PhysX title with nvidia's vendor lock AA implementation is one way to show how "nvidia cards rock".


    Amen brother...
    1
  • Anonymous
    can anyone show me how to enable PhysX if I only have an ati HD 4870 ? I tought that wasn't possible. But I don't know now after seeing this article...
    -4