Dead Space: Performance Analyzed

Benchmark Results: Medium Detail

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.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
44 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • anamaniac
    "Mushkin PC3-10700
    3x 2,048 MB, DDR3-1066, CL 8-8-8-19
    at 1.8 V"

    This is a mistake, right?
    0
  • anamaniac
    Interesting article.

    Deadspace does seem like a decent game, but it was too much for me.
    Tried sitting down to play it a few times, but I just couldn't take it.

    And yeah, the game can play on some junk hardware.
    800x600 res, minimum settings.


    First time I saw one of those creatures, I just wasted ammo. WTF WAS THAT!?!?!
    Pentium D 2.8GHz, 1GB DDR2 533, Nvidia 7500LE 256MB.
    It played. Average framerate was bad, but the minimums were kinda bad, yet still possible.

    Nice to see what I may be able to crank it up to now with my 4670, though a couple gigs of ddr2 800 will be a nice bonus if I find the will to spend my rent money...
    0
  • Andraxxus
    It can play fairly well even on a E6300@1.86Ghz with 1GB DDR2 667 and Nvidia 7600GT but I never finished it.
    0
  • tacoslave
    im ashamed to say this but i jumped when one of those things came at me out of nowhere...
    2
  • axilon
    One of the few games that sucked me in. I do NOT recommend playing it at 3am, the dreams I had....
    3
  • microdots
    9600gt plays this game great
    awesome game regardless tho. everything is very well done, its easy to tell that the developers took great time in perfecting every portion in the levels and environment. as from what i remember it defiantly lived up to its hype. i still haven't beaten it either along with being super cool its also pretty difficult but totally worth the money; a true gaming experience.
    1
  • Ciuy
    so in the end AO = bad. Unless u got to much fps .
    0
  • Kill@dor
    I don't blame you for being scared to try this game out...its really something else ^_^ Very well made game in my opinion
    3
  • rags_20
    I was thinking of trying it. Is it really that scary? I mean, if you turn down the volume, it shouldn't be as scary.
    0
  • Roffey123
    It was the soundscape in the game that got me, I'm used to the monsters and such, but the ambience really got to me - so I never really got far. Perhaps I should summon the courage up for it again.
    1
  • cinergy
    So you have your nvidia optimized game reviewed now (and of course not showing ATI driver version used, which is probably old). Fine. Next time you could put directx 10.1 exclusive game and show how badly nvidia performs there. And no old drivers trick this time!
    0
  • roorunner
    Thank you for the article. Reading it and following your links, I found my favorite game of all time supports this! And I am glad I have Nvidia graphic cards! Tonight - updating the drivers and taking the game for a testdrive! Thanks!!!!
    -1
  • Lans
    cinergy, I don't disagree with you on the Nvidia bias or DX10.1 . :)

    Being an AMD/ATI fan myself, you are inherently favor one vendor (Nvidia) over another (ATI) when you have exclusives on features that not all vendors support. Still, it was informative to me and it is not the reviewer's fault that not all vendor support said feature.

    As far as I know, this site is not among the few that had an in-depth look at Assassin's Creed and DX10.1 mess. Now with DX11 looming, maybe we'll finally see a DX10.1 review in form DX11 preview? :)

    I guess you can call the selection of which features to cover and which not to cover clear favoring Nvidia at the moment...
    3
  • avatar_raq
    It's nice to do performance analysis for games, but it'll be nicer if its done soon after their release, I finished this game twice (one @1280x1024 and the other @1920x1080) before this article!
    Nevertheless, keep up the good work.
    0
  • daft
    considering that the game was released back in october.....
    0
  • nerdherd
    I think this is a great article. I would LOVE to see an article done like this for more major game releases closer to their actual release date! Maybe even a few days before the game gets officially released? That would be awesome.
    0
  • megamanx00
    Poor little 4650. I played this game on high with one 3850 at 1680x1050. Anyway this article is a little late, but better late than never. Dead space is an awesome game. It seems like NVIDIAs new AO option doesn't really do much for it.
    0
  • cleeve
    daftconsidering that the game was released back in october.....


    Aha, but in October Nvidia's new AO feature wasn't here, now was it? Read the first page of the article.

    As far as thwe next game, I'm gunning for Red Faction: Guerilla
    3
  • cleeve
    Lanscinergy, I don't disagree with you on the Nvidia bias or DX10.1 . Being an AMD/ATI fan myself, you are inherently favor one vendor (Nvidia) over another (ATI) when you have exclusives on features that not all vendors support.


    See, I *do* disagree with you guys. There is no Nvidia BIAS here, I simply wanted to see what their new feature can do. And if it turned out to be good, it's exposure and reviews like this that can spurn AMD to looking at including such a feature themselves.

    Also guys - if there was a bias, wouldn't I have been screaming from the rooftops that it was the best thing sincle sliced bread? I'm pretty sure I let folks know the feature was best left off unless you happened to have a graphics card that could handle it easily.

    DirectX 10.1... now, that's a great feature, but I'm waiting for a new, killer title to exploit it. Tom Clancy's HAWX shows a great improvement with Dx10.1, the visuals are awesome. The problem is that the game sucks, so I'm not going to waste time on an in-depth analysis of something I wouldn't recommend. Assasin's Creed, well, I missed the boat on that one because this series is relatively new, but I'm hoping Assasin's Creed II will give give us another chance.

    Similarly, Nvidia is trying to tell everyone how great PhysX is, and I keep reminding everyone it's a useless feature in 99% of the games it's been included in. Mirror's Edge would be the closest thing to a must-have title for that feature, but with PhysX looking to be included in future DirectX APIs when physis becomes more mainstream, I'm not sure Nvidia will have any lasting advantage there. Too far ahead of the curve.

    As for CUDA... mreh. Still haven't seen anything that makes me say "wow".
    2
  • jwl3
    How appropriate. I just downloaded the game last week and started playing. Despite all the positive reviews, the game doesn't draw me in for the following reasons:

    1) the controls suck. I cannot even assign my usual arrow key buttons to movement what the f?

    2)It takes me two button presses to get my weapon out. Why? Why? Why? Why can't I just use my left mouse button to fire? Why must I bring up the rig and then fire? And forget about changing weapons. You literally have to put your weapon down, change weapons, click ok, bring new weapon up, and fire. Are you effing kidding me???

    3) the third person perspective is awful. Not only is it nauseating, the fun of FPS's is that you feel like you're the person in the game.

    4) The zero-gravity sites are annoying. I'm relieved when those parts of the game are over - they're tedious as all heck.

    5) Again with the controls, you'd think using a health pack was easy, Nope. Open inventory, select health pack, select use, close inventory. Wow.

    I can't count the number of times I've had to reload the level cause I couldn't switch to the appropriate weapon in time. Get a freaking clue EA. I used to be a huge fan of EA, buying 10 of their games each year. Until they screwed PC users by canceling all the EA sports games for the PC. I swore from that point on that I wouldn't buy another EA game (produced or distributed or whatever). I'm glad I didn't buy this POS game.
    -2