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DirectX 9 Game Benchmarks

Meet The 2012 Graphics Charts: How We're Testing This Year
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The King Is Dead, Long Live the King?

Even though DirectX 9 ceased to be state-of-the-art on the PC a long time ago, it still has a commanding presence in the market due to games that were primarily written for consoles. In addition to those titles, there are DirectX 9 classics that are still widely played. Therefore, we've picked three games to represent the old DirectX 9 API.

Crysis 2: DirectX 9

Crysis 2 is a fairly recent game that we run both in DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 mode (with HD textures). This also gives us a good frame of reference for evaluating scaling from DX 9 to 11, and that's a fairly unique capability of this title.

We test both Crysis 2 modes with the Adrenaline benchmark tool at preset levels appropriate for each graphics card category.

Preset Level
Resolution
Settings
Entry
1280x720
DirectX 9, Quality: High, Anti-aliasing: Off, High-Res Textures: Off
Performance
1920x1080
DirectX 9, Quality: Extreme, Anti-aliasing: Edge Blur, High-Res Textures: Off
Extreme
2560x1440
DirectX 9, Quality: Ultra, Anti-aliasing: Edge AA, High-Res Textures: On


Grand Theft Auto IV EFLC

GTA IV is an open-world classic that's still being played today. However, we want to point out that the game is not programmed optimally, and even an overclocked Core i7 processor starts to limit the game’s performance when a high-performance graphics card is run at low-quality settings. Anything that performs better than a GeForce GTX 570 is slowed down by our CPU. This is another reason why you should only assess a graphics processor's performance with well-balanced settings. It isn't useful to compare high-end cards at entry-level quality settings.

Preset Level
ResolutionSettings
Entry
1280x720
DirectX 9, Texture quality: Low, Reflections: Low, Water: Low, Shadows: Low, Anisotropy: x4, Distance (1+2): 25, Traffic: 25
Performance
1920x1080
DirectX 9, Texture quality: High, Reflections: High, Water: Middle, Shadows: Middle, Anisotropy: x8, Distance (1+2): 35, Traffic: 35
Extreme
2560x1440
DirectX 9, Texture quality: Highest, Reflections: Highest, Water: Highest, Shadows: Highest, Anisotropy: x16, Distance (1+2): 50, Traffic: 50


Mafia 2

Mafia 2 is a valuable addition to our benchmark suite, as it is still demanding of even current high-end graphics cards, so long as the quality settings are high enough (and even though the game is just a console port). Downloadable content keeps luring players back to this title.

Preset Level
Resolution
Settings
Entry
1280x720
Anti-aliasing: Off, Anisotropy: x4, Shadows: Low, Ambient occlusion: Off, Geometry: Low
Performance
1920x1080
Anti-aliasing: On, Anisotropy: x8, Shadows: Normal, Ambient occlusion: On, Geometry: Normal
Extreme
2560x1440
Anti-aliasing: On, Anisotropy: x6, Shadows: High, Ambient occlusion: On, Geometry: High


Next, we look at our DirectX 11 benchmarks.

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