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Benchmark Results: Low Detail

Prototype Performance Analyzed

Low detail means no shadows, which in many games would significantly detract from game play quality. But this not the case with Prototype. While shadows add nice depth to the landscape, turning them off isn't all that noticeable while you're playing the game. If your hardware demands it, low detail is a viable option.

Starting at 1280x1024, every card we've tested offers extremely playable performance. In fact, only the lowest-priced card in our tests, the Radeon HD 4650, delivers less than an average of 70 frames per second (FPS). It is extremely telling that the sub-$100 GeForce 9600 GT is achieving frame rates close to the $260+ GeForce GTX 260. This smells like a CPU bottleneck, which is not a big surprise at low detail and resolutions. It's even more expected since this is a sandbox-type game that undoubtedly makes the system work hard to calculate artificial intelligence for the scores of people, cars, and enemies populating Manhattan.

At 1680x1050, only the Radeon HD 4650 has been dragged down to the edge of playability. All of the other cards are still bumping into what is likely the CPU bottleneck.

At 1920x1200, we're starting to see some separation between the cheaper cards and more expensive models. The Radeon HD 4650 has been rendered unplayable.

Finally, at 2560x1600, the Radeon HD 4650 is reduced to a slideshow, while all of the other cards are delivering very smooth performance. While the GeForce 9600 GT is notably slower than the rest of the pack, it's still able to muster a minimum frame rate of about 27 FPS, which is not perfect, but very playable.

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