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Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Performance Analysis

Introduction

Burnout Paradise isn’t exactly a new game. In fact, it was released over a year ago, back in January of 2008 to tremendous critical acclaim thanks to its expansive game world, innovative game play, and gobs of old-fashioned fun.

Unfortunately for us PC users, it was launched only on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Why should you care? Because a year after launch, the game is available for us PC gamers. Not only are we getting the “Ultimate Box” version that includes every expansion pack previously released, but we’re also getting a refined, polished experience compared to the launch version released over a year ago.

As an avid PC gamer, I couldn’t be more ecstatic about this port. I’ve always been a racing game fan, but am much more interested in the Need for Speed fun-focused games rather than the TOCA Race Driver simulation stuff. While Codemaster’s new GRID is definitely a step towards the fun side of things, it’s still a little dry and Need for Speed has completely lost me since NFS: Pro Street. What I have always craved is a no-holds-barred fun-fest of gorgeous graphics, thrilling speed, and car-crash porn. As a PC gamer (with a Wii for the kids as backup), I’ve been deprived of the newer Burnout titles that could fully satisfy this vice...until now.

This isn’t a game review, as it should already be obvious that I’m a big fan of Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box for the PC. But as a hardware reviewer, I was impressed at how well this port ran, even on my relatively weak home theater PC. With other ports running poorly on the PC (such as Halo), I decided it might be worth a look to see just what this game needs on the CPU/GPU hardware side of things to deliver great performance and maybe delve a little into the image quality as well.

With this in mind, I’ve chosen a good cross-section of graphics cards with which to test the title. I’ve even tested different CPU clock speeds and processors ranging from one to four cores in order to really answer the question: “what do I need to get the most out of Burnout Paradise?”

  • cruiseoveride
    Where is the people's champion? The HD4870?

    I felt the lighting looked a little more natural on the geforce. The colour on the radeon looked better though
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    I like the nvidia shadows more makes it less bland look imo a more definitive look which i like.

    I was wonding why no 4870 like above.

    SSAO on :) reminds me of ripping dvd's and messing with sharpness, debanding etc the telephone wire atleast.
    Reply
  • enterco
    Considering how 'hardware friendly' is this game, probably it will be very successful.
    Reply
  • SpadeM
    The first screen shot comparison is quite tricky :) on the first look you might think the geforce does not render the red car at all.
    Reply
  • ufo_warviper
    Nice article so far. I'm still reading the article, but I just wanted to point out that on page 7 of this review, I think the author somehow confused (a couple times) the 4830 with the 4850, and also the GTS 250 with the GTX 260 cards.

    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.

    Clearly, he meant the other cards here.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    SpadeMThe first screen shot comparison is quite tricky on the first look you might think the geforce does not render the red car at all.A roll over png or jpg would have probably done better then the color restrivie .gif that was used, Shame that IE8 doesn't support APNG like opera and ff does, it would def make the format much more popular.
    Reply
  • chyll2
    I really like the additional benchmark that imitates different number of cores and clocks. It gives us an idea of performance we would get on similar specs with our system.
    Reply
  • linaaslt
    Somehow i missed benches from hd4770 or 4870/4890 and gtx275. but maybe it's because this game doesn't require good GPU to be playable.
    Reply
  • zehpavora
    I think that, if you want to play this game with 8x MSAA, 8x AA, and High settings, a GTX 275 SLI will work. This game must be amazing at those settings! I like Race Games too, but NSF also lost me on Pro Street. I hope Burnout delivers what EA couldn't...
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    Phenom 940 @ 3400 HD4870 core@790 GRAM512Mb@4400Mhz
    2x2GB 1066Mhz 5-5-5-15
    this all on 22"@1680x1050 all fx crankt up...
    50~100fps
    Reply