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Image Quality: DirectX 9 Versus DirectX 10

Resident Evil 5: Demo Performance Analyzed
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Let's have a closer look at performance differences between the DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 render paths using a GeForce GTX 260 and a Radeon HD 4870:

The Radeon HD 4870 is able to match the GeForce GTX 260's performance using the DirectX 9 render path, but when the DirectX 10 render path is used, the Radeon is crippled and the GeForce keeps on truckin'.

What exactly is DirectX 10 doing that is eating up all of those processing resources on the Radeons and not on the GeForce cards? Let's look at some image comparisons to see what's going on:

As far as we can tell, not a heck of a lot. This is unexpected because of the substantial performance hit that the DirectX 10 render path imposes on Radeon cards, which is very strange and puzzling.

Intrigued by these results, we asked a Capcom representative to connect us with the game's programmers to find out exactly what kind of extra processing was going on under DirectX 10, and what we should look for in order to qualify it. It took the firm a little while to get an answer for us due to some translation issues, but it responded with the following note:

"Sorry, but the response from the team is not very exciting: simple answer for both, [no] new content, or shaders, [or] effects added to Direct[X] 10.

Benefits for the DirectX 10 users: nothing special, no enhancement.

I can tell you that Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision LCD glasses require DX10, so there's a definite need to be on Vista in order to see the incredible 3D effects in action."

This explains a lot, actually: we're not seeing any difference between the DirectX 9 and 10 screenshots because there's no difference to see.

With this in mind, there's certainly no reason for anyone to play this game in DirectX 10 mode, except for GeForce owners who are using Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision LCD glasses.

Display all 8 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , 14 September 2009 15:30
    I got a 10FPS or 17% improvement in windows 7 x64 RTM by disabling Desktop Window Manager Session Manager Service with this demo.
  • 0 Hide
    wild9 , 14 September 2009 19:53
    Well researched and written article. Nice to see a subjectuve take on the i7 vs. Q6600 results.
  • 0 Hide
    wild9 , 14 September 2009 19:59
    Quote:
    While the game engine prefers at least a triple-core CPU and a GeForce 9600 GT or better for high-detail and high-resolution play, ..


    Wouldn't mind seeing the results using an AMD Phenom II x3.
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 14 September 2009 20:01
    Interesting to see the CPU comparison at the end. Do we think the i7 was so much quicker due to architecture, HT, or both? and weighted how?
  • 0 Hide
    chovav , 16 September 2009 00:51
    Extremely good article guys! I think you've just about covered any computer worth covering.
    Anything higher is going to be playable at any resolution or settings, so definatly not worth the time testing.

    keep up the good work! and great tip about the DX10!
  • 0 Hide
    praetorianguard , 18 September 2009 17:19
    A helpful article, as far as gaming graphics is concerned. However, it doesn't mention that the PC version still behaves exactly like it does on a console; even on a widescreen monitor you'll have trouble seeing what is around you and the controls are shockingly inadequate. There is no fluidity to the way you control the character making for a frustrating game. That's not to say that the game is jerky. I've run it on my Q6600 with a GeForce 295 GTX and the game averages over 60fps at 1920x1200 at even the highest graphics settings. It looks lovely. Pity it doesn't play the same. I love the Resident Evil series. I've played almost all of them. But this one should have stayed on the console, where it belongs.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 28 September 2009 22:18
    Q6600 is a 2.66 not 1.86
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 31 October 2009 11:15
    Very interesting about there being no difference between DX9c and DX10 in game. I was running the game with DX10, and thinking it looked great, but now switched to DX9 and it does indeed look just as good.

    One useful tip I've discovered elsewhere is that you cannot set all game options from within the game's menu. Instead, by going to Documents/CAPCOM/RESIDENT EVIL 5/config.ini and opening that file in notepad you can change and enable more settings.

    Of most use is for those with Crossfire or SLI setups as there is an option to enable it by changing from SLI=NO to SLI=YES. It is also reported by some people to also greatly improve dual cards such as the 4870x2 and GTX295.

    And for those of you running a 64bit OS, you can switch the game into 64bit mode by changing the HDR from HDR=LOW to HDR=HIGH. Definitely worth doing if you do.

    On my system, which is a Q6600, 8GB RAM, XFX 4870 1GB, Vista Ultimate 64bit, I'm running the game at 1280x1024 with everything set to high, and HDR set to high. And using DX9c. It runs very nicely at over 70fps in all the benchmark tests. With an overall average of 77.3fps.
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