Wednesday, September 19, 2007

World In Conflict Demo Benchmarks: Update 2

Since Ender had expressed some interest in World in Conflict, I went to take a look at the demo to get a sense of how the game would run (or not run) on my system. Fortunately, I was able to install and get to the startup screen without any issues (unlike with Bioshock), and I was sort of surprised to see in the graphics settings that there was a benchmark built in. So I figured since for the benefit (Catnipped, Tochi, and Ender currently) and amusement (Velius, Kabitzin, and Ender later) of everyone, I would compile some benchmark numbers to give everyone a sense of where their system stands.

"Minimum" System Requirements
• OS: Windows® XP, Windows Vista™
• CPU: Single-core 2.0 GHz or faster (2.2 GHz for Windows Vista™)
• CPU: Dual-core Any Intel® or AMD®
• RAM: 512 MB (1 GB for Windows Vista™)
• Graphics: 128 MB video RAM, DirectX® 9.0c-compatible
(NVIDIA® GeForce® 4 MX, ATI® Radeon® 8500, 9200 not supported)
• Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compatible
• Hard Drive: 2.5 GB or more available hard drive space

"Recommended" System Reqiurements
• OS: Windows® XP, Windows Vista™
• CPU: 2.5 GHz or faster
• RAM: 1024 MB (1.5 GB for Windows Vista™)
• Graphics: 256 MB video RAM, DirectX® 9.0c-compatible
• Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compatible

Kungfucius' System
• OS: Windows Vista™
• CPU: Athlon-64: 2800+ (1.8 GHz clock speed)
• RAM: 1.5 GB
• Graphics: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro w/128 MB of video RAM, DirectX® 9.0c-compatible

So with my system being a mix of the minimum and recommended requirements and some people having success running the game with lower than minimum settings, I figured I'd be able to run WiC reasonably with maybe mediumish detail at a medium (1024x768) resolution. In the graphics settings, there aren't that many things that you can adjust besides the resolution and amount of detail (ranging from "Very Low" to "Very High"), so there're only two variables in the benchmark results. The benchmark itself reminded me of the city map that a lot of us played with at PAX, with the focus mainly on some flying scenes, a tank scene, and lots and lots of explosions.

Here're the numbers that I crunched out. I ran the benchmark 3 times and took the result from the last run.

What's sort of interesting to note from these benchmarks (besides the fact that they're not very impressive) is that the frame rate in general seems independent of the resolution that I run in, which came as sort of a surprise to me since I had expected my graphics card to be the bottleneck, but the benchmark seems to show that my CPU is the likely culprit. One of the things you immediate notice about World in Conflict is the copious use of smoke everywhere after explosions, which looks very nice, but during those scenes, my system slows to a crawl -_-

As you can see from the in game graph, there are two parts in the benchmark where my system really slows. The first is near the beginning when a mini-nuke hits a part of the city, which illuminates everything in view and sends smoke and debris everywhere. The second is near the end of the benchmark where a few bombers basically artillery another section of the city for about 5 seconds, resulting in more smoke and mayhem.

So the moral of the story? If I'm gonna play World in Conflict, I'll probably be running it in "Very Low" details, which seems to turn off real-time shadows, reduces the texture details, and the models used look a bit less complicated. However, the smoke still looks pretty :P

Update: I played through the tutorial (since I pretty much had no idea what was going on or how to play when I was trying it out at PAX :P), and I'm thinking that the benchmark present more of a "worst case scenario" that you might run into while in WiC. At the medium detail setting, the game played pretty smoothly even during the artillery practice (which is awesome btw :) ).

Update 2: I just tried playing through the single player campaign on medium detail @ 1280x1024, and when the action starts to heat up and armies of tanks start exploding everywhere, my PC really begins to bog down, which hindered by soldier directing and camera movement. So it looks like I'm back to low (or very low) settings :P

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