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The Rage Benchmark Conundrum: Video Comparison

Rage: Performance Analysis On The PC

Whenever we benchmark hardware, we strive to isolate variables, using different components at the same in-game quality settings. This lets us generate the most meaningful results. But does it make sense to benchmark a game that adjusts quality to achieve 60 FPS, especially if it's dynamically changing settings in the process?

It can, we believe, if the approach is correct. First, we plan to benchmark the game with several different graphics cards to gauge just how much hardware muscle the Tech 5 engine needs in order to hit its 60 FPS target. We doubt it's able to yield the same frame rates driven by today’s entry-level discrete graphics hardware. So, at the very least, we can show you the minimum you need to get to hit 60 FPS.

Secondly, while we don’t have control over what the Tech 5 engine does to dynamically alter the graphics load, we can present the results in video form and let you judge for yourself whether they're comparable. We do this by recording in-game footage from four different graphics cards, all of which sustain an average 60 FPS, but drop to different minimum frame rates. The delta between the minimums suggests that the slower cards struggle compared to the higher-end cards. So, we'd expect the game engine to drop its load in order to achieve similar average performance.

The problem with this approach follows the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The act of observing causes a change in the conditions of the experiment, and in this case recording video impacts the CPU load during game play. Subject to variance or not, this experiment is worth running because it could demonstrate significant differences between rendering output on various graphics cards.

Rage: Graphics Card Comparison

The results reveal few visual distinctions between the components on our test bench. The engine's load balancing is largely undetectable, meaning you can expect a very similar in-game experience regardless of the graphics card you choose, so long as your PC is fast enough to sustain smooth frame rates. This mirrors my testing experience, as I wasn't able to notice the difference between various configurations.

Additionally, the output from GeForce and Radeon cards looks very similar, so it’s nice to know that you’ll see a consistent result, regardless of graphics hardware.

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  • -1 Hide
    tranzz , 21 October 2011 20:41
    I bought rage on release and had no probs at all.

    I listened to the speech John carmack made about rage and the Id tech 5 engine. He said It was built with all 3 systems in mind not console and then ported over to PC as a lot of sites and people are stating.

    My thought would be test it with a SSD. The teaxture streaming accasionaly pops up but is very brief. Would loading the files to a ssd remove the streaming bottleneck and remove this. I heard it was caused by disk latency.

  • 2 Hide
    ps3hacker12 , 23 October 2011 01:18
    looks like a nice game, im just glad that they even brought it to PC. :D 
  • 1 Hide
    dizzy_davidh , 23 October 2011 11:14
    Why not test with the ATI HD6990 abd nVidia GTX590? Surely it makes sense to test the game's performance with the best single-card options currently available for an up-to-date as possible comparison.
  • 0 Hide
    mbwoods , 23 October 2011 11:56
    as i said elsewhere in regarding drivers, as i have a geforce gtx570, with the nvidia 275 drivers having upgraded a few times from 260 drivers.
    as they been working on this game for so long, why wasnt this game running perfect on say for example nvidia 250-260 drivers(and the equivalent ati/amd drivers) rather than forcing us to have patches and upgrade the latest nvidia 285 drivers thats not even released yet?
    its alright asking us to have the latest drivers even though it runs fine on a 3 month old driver when the programmers are working on the code before its sent to get the game pressed on disks and for it to reach the shops
  • 0 Hide
    tranzz , 23 October 2011 20:39
    dizzy_davidhWhy not test with the ATI HD6990 abd nVidia GTX590? Surely it makes sense to test the game's performance with the best single-card options currently available for an up-to-date as possible comparison.

    The game is sait to gave probs with multi GPU setups.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 24 October 2011 18:54
    With Radeon 4670 Rage was playable. After switching to 6790 the fps dropped to something like 0.1. Other graphics intense games work ok.
    (Win 7 64bit, 8 gb)