Dead Space: Performance Analyzed


What has our Dead Space performance analysis taught us?

First, Dead Space is heavily dependent on the graphics system, while CPU performance is less important. Even a dual-core CPU at 1.6 GHz should be more than the game needs to perform admirably, but if you want to play above 1280x1024 you should look for at least a GeForce 9600 or Radeon HD 4770.

Second, the game prefers Nvidia's GeForce architecture over ATI's Radeon cards. Even a GeForce 9600 GT can handle the game at 2560x1600 using its High Detail settings. Having said that, a Radeon HD 4770 or higher will also be able to demonstrate playable 2560x1600 performance. The only real handicap is with lower-tier Radeons, like the Radeon HD 4650 and below, which can still muster playable performance if the resolution is lowered to 1680x1050 or below.

Thirdly, this gave us a chance to play with Nvidia's AO feature in the 185.85 GeForce drivers. What's the conclusion? Well, the effect is positive, but subtle. It's something we will definitely turn on when we play the game with Nvidia hardware as long as the graphics card can handle it. However, if we're using a slower GeForce card we'll probably turn it off in favor of a higher resolution, since the AO option causes a pretty huge performance hit. Is it a reason to buy a GeForce over a Radeon? Probably not for what it delivers in this specific title, but it's a nice bonus, and Nvidia deserves kudos for its efforts. We look forward to gaming with Nvidia's implementation of AO in the future and it just might be possible that it could be a must-have feature in a title we have not yet tested.

As for us, the most important thing we learned is that Dead Space is a pretty entertaining survival horror title in a nifty sci-fi universe. We're looking forward to a sequel, and we really hope that the developers will code compatibility with hardware AA next time around.

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  • Anonymous
    It looks to me like the CPU Clock Speed Scaling was done on the wrong graphics settings. Shouldn't this have been tested on a much lower resolution (say, 1024 x 768 low detail) to remove the graphics card as the bottleneck?
  • jennyh
    Nobody cared about dead space on release, why would anyone care now?
  • adders88
    fantastic game,so much fun doing surgery on those baddies!!!! bring on the sequel
  • waxdart
    I like the cartoon look of low detail :)
    Reminds me of the color pallet used in flashback on the Amiga. A game I'm sure that beat this hands down

    Mind you I did play the PS3 demo of dead space, it was awful! I hate fps controls on console anyway.
  • Anonymous
    great game, good tests, will give AO a try out
  • 2shea
    there is only a prequel game made for the wii :( no info about ds2 yet.
    The game is awesome in the exitement department but the controlls are something I could kill people for. Slow and in accurate aiming. It feels like I'm playing high on drugs in stead of full of adrenaline. That is a missed opportunity but can be traced back to the console part.
    For the rest it's a game that challenges you pretty good and is no pushover. The low detail should not even be mentioned, no body I kknow plays games at such a low detail and since only the 4670, that isnt really a gaming card, is struggling.
  • shrex
    you mean 4650, they never tested a 4670, the 4670 would be on par with the 9600gt
  • z999
    man this article is FLAWED! seriously, first thing that struck me was that you didn't test on 4870 1GB or 260GTX 216, even though it doesn't matter because you only test old games that use AO (is this whole thing an advertisement?).
    when you checked the CPU hit you did it on the highest settings which is wrong, very wrong, the core number test was passable because there are many people in this scenario (260 and a dual core).

    you really should step up the articles, maybe some more of the new DX10 features like you can see in HAWX.
  • jrtolson
    this is one of the best games i have ever played... i have it on ps3, reminds me of system shock 2 but better... this game is nothing like Flashback on the amiga, (great game i still own and finnished many times)

    This game did very well on release, a sequel is on its way, also a prequel is about to be released on wii.. and the Manga film Deadspace Downfall which i own on blu ray is also cool..

    if some of u guys not bought into the deadspace franchise then wot a pitty u are missing out.. play the game and you will see why. (the ps3 version is better imo, but which ever platform enjoy :-)