Dead Space: Performance Analyzed


What has our Dead Space performance analysis taught us?

First, Dead Space is heavily dependent on the graphics system, while CPU performance is less important. Even a dual-core CPU at 1.6 GHz should be more than the game needs to perform admirably, but if you want to play above 1280x1024 you should look for at least a GeForce 9600 or Radeon HD 4770.

Second, the game prefers Nvidia's GeForce architecture over ATI's Radeon cards. Even a GeForce 9600 GT can handle the game at 2560x1600 using its High Detail settings. Having said that, a Radeon HD 4770 or higher will also be able to demonstrate playable 2560x1600 performance. The only real handicap is with lower-tier Radeons, like the Radeon HD 4650 and below, which can still muster playable performance if the resolution is lowered to 1680x1050 or below.

Thirdly, this gave us a chance to play with Nvidia's AO feature in the 185.85 GeForce drivers. What's the conclusion? Well, the effect is positive, but subtle. It's something we will definitely turn on when we play the game with Nvidia hardware as long as the graphics card can handle it. However, if we're using a slower GeForce card we'll probably turn it off in favor of a higher resolution, since the AO option causes a pretty huge performance hit. Is it a reason to buy a GeForce over a Radeon? Probably not for what it delivers in this specific title, but it's a nice bonus, and Nvidia deserves kudos for its efforts. We look forward to gaming with Nvidia's implementation of AO in the future and it just might be possible that it could be a must-have feature in a title we have not yet tested.

As for us, the most important thing we learned is that Dead Space is a pretty entertaining survival horror title in a nifty sci-fi universe. We're looking forward to a sequel, and we really hope that the developers will code compatibility with hardware AA next time around.

  • anamaniac
    "Mushkin PC3-10700
    3x 2,048 MB, DDR3-1066, CL 8-8-8-19
    at 1.8 V"

    This is a mistake, right?
  • 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...
  • Andraxxus
    It can play fairly well even on a E6300@1.86Ghz with 1GB DDR2 667 and Nvidia 7600GT but I never finished it.
  • tacoslave
    im ashamed to say this but i jumped when one of those things came at me out of nowhere...
  • axilon
    One of the few games that sucked me in. I do NOT recommend playing it at 3am, the dreams I had....
  • 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.
  • Ciuy
    so in the end AO = bad. Unless u got to much fps .
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.