Medium Detail is the lowest setting at which the game can probably be enjoyed, so these numbers will tell us a lot as far as our minimum requirements for Dead Space go:
Starting at 1280x1024, every card is achieving over 100 FPS on average at this resolution and detail setting except for the Radeon HD 4650. And we can also see right off the bat that this game highly favors GeForce architecture, as the Radeon cards are barely keeping up with their Nvidia foes that are at a whole price tier below.
This is bad news for the Radeon HD 4650, which can only deliver Medium Detail performance with a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS at 1280x1024. But see how the GeForce 9600 GT is flying by at this resolution with an average of 135 FPS? This bodes well for GeForce owners with slower cards like the GeForce 9500 GT. We didn't have one available for testing, unfortunately.
At 1680x1050, nothing changes much–all of the cards continue to deliver over 100 FPS average except for the Radeon HD 4650, which can only muster an average 39 FPS and a minimum 22 FPS. It might be playable at this setting, but it's far from smooth.
At 1920x1200, the Radeon HD 4650 has been shut down as a viable option with a minimum frame rate of 17 FPS. Every other card we tested is still charging ahead with very fast frame rates. Will 2560x1600 remove any more contenders?
The monster 2560x1600 resolution brings a lot of cards slower, but even the GeForce 9600 GT, Radeon HD 4830, and Radeon HD 4770 can still muster average frame rates over 50 FPS and minimum frame rates at the 30 FPS level.
What we've learned is that the GeForces have a pretty notable advantage in this title, but it doesn't make much of a difference unless you're dealing with a Radeon HD 4650 or a lower-end Radeon card. Even the Radeon HD 4770 and Radeon HD 4830 can handle the highest available resolution without too much trouble.
Now that we've tested Medium Detail, let's see how these cards fare with the High Detail setting.