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Test System And Setup

Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Performance Analysis
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Up front, we have to say that there is no way to turn off vsync in this game. Forcing vsync off with the Radeon or GeForce drivers had no effect.

While EA was nice enough to provide us with testing materials, it wasn't able to give us access to the developers to see if there was a way around the vsync limitation for our benchmarks. Regardless, we will benchmark with a 60 frame per second (FPS) limit cap, and this will reflect exactly the kind of experience that you, the user, will have.

A note about the test system we used for the benchmarks: there is no need to worry that the Q6600 Core 2 Quad CPU overclocked to 2.7 GHz is causing a bottleneck, since our tests showed that this is way more than the game needs to reach its maximum potential. More on that later, though.

We chose a range of graphics cards to test, most of them from our "Best Cards for the Money" monthly recommendations. This gives us a nice, broad spectrum of cards to scrutinize from a range of budgets.

System Hardware
Processor(s)Intel Core 2 Duo Q6600 (Kentsfield), 2.7 GHz, FSB-1200, 8 MB Cache
PlatformMSI P7N SLI Platinum
Nvidia nForce 750i, BIOS A2
RAMA-Data EXTREME DDR2 800+
2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 5-5-5-18 at 1.8 V
Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA, 500 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB cache, SATA 3.0 GB/s
Networking
On-Board nForce 750i Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics CardsSapphire HD4650 512 MB DDR2 PCIe
Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI 1 GB DDR3 PCIe
Powercolor AX4830 512 MB DDR3 PCIe
Asus ENGTS250 DK 1 GB DDR3 PCIe
Asus EAH4850 MT 512 MB DDR3 PCIe
ASUS ENGTX260 796 MB DDR3 PCIe
Power Supply
Ultra HE1000X, ATX 2.2, 1000W
Software and Drivers
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX Version
DirectX 10
Platform Driver
nForce Driver Version 15.25
Graphics Driver ATI Catalyst 9.3
Nvidia Forceware 182.08
3D Game Benchmarks and Settings
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
Version 1.1, Video Quality: All settings at maximum, Demo: Tom's Custom benchmark and FRAPS
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  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 14 May 2009 16:02
    How are you supposed to compare graphics quality using a GIF?!?

    Could you not have had multiple high quality JPEGs next to each other?
  • 0 Hide
    waxdart , 14 May 2009 17:41
    EA = DRM title = No sale.

    The game isn't that great. I alway found it annoying having to search out races. If you've only got a few mins to spare it's nice to be able to jump it and get going.

  • 0 Hide
    PT88 , 14 May 2009 19:46
    Race Driver: Grid anyday!
  • 0 Hide
    jcook21 , 14 May 2009 20:34
    I always loved the Burnout series and always promised myself a copy when it appeared on the PC. I bought it the other day and I was immediately impressed with the gameplay and graphical prowess, esp considering my rig.

    Core 2 E6400 @ 2.1Ghz (One of the first versions)
    2GB Ram (I think one of the slowest clocked DDRII)
    and a
    Geforce 7900GS 512MB

    I thought I was going to have to drop the settings to the floor to play it, but they are quite comfortably on medium/medium high - admittedly on 1280 * 1024 res. But on a 17" monitor do I need a higher res?

    Still, for £30 you can't go far wrong. It has me coming back every night for a quick blast - with jaw dropping graphical moments every time.

    Cookie
  • 0 Hide
    vasthegreek , 15 May 2009 16:54
    I tried the demo way before this article. Not my cup of tea. Too "arcady" for my liking. I didn't like the feel of the cars, camera angles and the damage....tbh I don't think that anything can beat GRID on the pc right now. Ok you cannot cruise around but it's all down to what you looking for.
  • 0 Hide
    PT88 , 15 May 2009 16:57
    GRID is the ultimate arcade racer for the PC at the moment, if u want SIM then ur tlking GTR series.....
  • 0 Hide
    vicious5id , 15 May 2009 19:16
    Burnout is a different game when compared to GRID.
    GRID is pretty much a simulator, with some arcade elements.
    Burnout is about the thrill of speed, and the resulting crashes - not much else. A game for someone looking for pure fun!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 18 May 2009 21:10
    PT88Race Driver: Grid anyday!

    The chasis crunching gorgeousness of a head on inpact with a brick wall at full throttle easily passes the joy and frustration of driving the LeMans in Grid.

    Burnout wins in the Jump in and Go stakes. Just blasting round the city without furthering any set goals is fun in itself.
  • 0 Hide
    david__t , 20 May 2009 18:25
    The fact that the game runs well on lots of hardware can be taken 2 ways: either it is a good engine (as the article says) or conversly the level or detail is not as high as other PC games, coming as it does, from consoles originally. Although the Xbox360 & PS3 look good, we have to remember that they soon fall behind the PC in terms of graphics processing.