While the ambient occlusion feature has some drawbacks in Burnout Paradise, specifically with the dark halos around thin geometry, like telephone wires, we still thought it would be interesting to benchmark the game with the setting enabled. So without further ado, here are the results:
Even with AA disabled, the SSAO feature brutalizes all of the cards across the board. Only the Radeon HD 4830 and GeForce GTS 250 are barely playable with SSAO enabled at 1680x1050. Even the Radeon HD 4850 and GeForce GTX 260 are running significantly below the 60 FPS vsync barrier.
With the resolution increased to 1920x1200, only the Radeon HD 4830 and GeForce GTS 250 barely pass the playable standard with over 30 FPS minimum frame rates.
At 2560x1600 with SSAO enabled, it’s a wash. Nobody is left standing, with even the best cards in the test able to squeeze out only 20 FPS.
While it’s mostly academic at these low frame rates, it is interesting that the Radeon cards seem to handle the SSAO feature better than their similarly-priced GeForce counterparts. The Radeon HD 4850 meets and sometimes beats the more expensive GeForce GTX 260 and easily outpaces the GeForce GTS 250. Likewise, the Radeon HD 4830 meets or beats the more expensive GeForce GTS 250. Even the bargain-basement Radeon HD 4650 one-ups the more expensive GeForce 9600 GT.