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Test System And Setup

Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Performance Analysis
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Up front, we have to say that there is no way to turn off vsync in this game. Forcing vsync off with the Radeon or GeForce drivers had no effect.

While EA was nice enough to provide us with testing materials, it wasn't able to give us access to the developers to see if there was a way around the vsync limitation for our benchmarks. Regardless, we will benchmark with a 60 frame per second (FPS) limit cap, and this will reflect exactly the kind of experience that you, the user, will have.

A note about the test system we used for the benchmarks: there is no need to worry that the Q6600 Core 2 Quad CPU overclocked to 2.7 GHz is causing a bottleneck, since our tests showed that this is way more than the game needs to reach its maximum potential. More on that later, though.

We chose a range of graphics cards to test, most of them from our "Best Cards for the Money" monthly recommendations. This gives us a nice, broad spectrum of cards to scrutinize from a range of budgets.

System Hardware
Processor(s)Intel Core 2 Duo Q6600 (Kentsfield), 2.7 GHz, FSB-1200, 8 MB Cache
PlatformMSI P7N SLI Platinum
Nvidia nForce 750i, BIOS A2
RAMA-Data EXTREME DDR2 800+
2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 5-5-5-18 at 1.8 V
Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA, 500 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB cache, SATA 3.0 GB/s
Networking
On-Board nForce 750i Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics CardsSapphire HD4650 512 MB DDR2 PCIe
Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI 1 GB DDR3 PCIe
Powercolor AX4830 512 MB DDR3 PCIe
Asus ENGTS250 DK 1 GB DDR3 PCIe
Asus EAH4850 MT 512 MB DDR3 PCIe
ASUS ENGTX260 796 MB DDR3 PCIe
Power Supply
Ultra HE1000X, ATX 2.2, 1000W
Software and Drivers
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX Version
DirectX 10
Platform Driver
nForce Driver Version 15.25
Graphics Driver ATI Catalyst 9.3
Nvidia Forceware 182.08
3D Game Benchmarks and Settings
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
Version 1.1, Video Quality: All settings at maximum, Demo: Tom's Custom benchmark and FRAPS
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