Mafia II: Perfection for NVIDIA’s Graphics Plus Technologies?

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: August 23, 2010
Product Name: Mafia II
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Built in Benchmark Performance Analysis

In a recent article, we took the time to look at and analyze the different (or lack thereof) between certain benchmarking methods. In some games, the built-in benchmark provided an accurate representation of in-game performance but in others there was a huge difference between the rolling demo the developer provided versus reality.

Mafia II provides a built-in rolling benchmark that gives a more cinematic view of a section Chapter 5 than the player will ever experience. The scene begins with an assault on a pair of cars and ends within a distillery amidst a firefight. Below we have two situations: the built-in benchmark and the “worst case” scenario we found after playing through the whole game. Our own worst case benchmark sequence is detailed below. Caution: the language contained in the clip below may be offensive to some.

A built-in benchmark is a luxury very few games have but what’s the use of a benchmark when it doesn’t reflect the realities within the game itself? Due to the massive and frankly unrealistic number of particles, chunks of debris and close-in camera angles the CPU performance of our setup was severely hindered in some cases when compared to even the worst case in-game scenario.

However, the other tests which didn’t rely on CPU generated physics both methods were actually quite close in comparison. We’re of the opinion that the addition of built-in benchmarks should be applauded but only when they have a firm grounding in reality. In this case 2K wins a polite round of applause from us due to their benchmark actually reflecting in-game performance…in most cases at least.

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