Bioshock hype has started up the past few weeks as the game videos started coming out quickly, and finally we were greeted with an Xbox 360 and now just a few hours ago a PC demo. While this game is not as anticipated as say Half Life 2 Episode 2, or Unreal Tournament 3, or Halo 3 don't let that fool you. This game had us hooked on the 360 demo, and counting the minutes until it hit for PC. Based on the Unreal 3 engine like Gears of War and Rainbow Six Vegas before it will surely 3 red light plenty of Xbox 360s keeping us busy at Tek Republik doing repairs, but at our shop the version of choice will be on the PC. Certainly we don't deploy games without testing them first, and for an Unreal 3 engine game, and the first of its sort to excite us on the PC we once again fired up the test systems and we have shot off benchmarks on an overclocked Athlon 64 X2 at 3.4GHz with all of the worthy Nvidia GeForce 8 series cards. We still don't have an AMD Radeon DX10 part, and frankly we don't feel like buying one. If AMD wants to send one our way we will gladly add those numbers. Here are the cards we have tested with so far below.
Here's our test system. We used the Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit with the beta Nvidia drivers version 163.44 released today for Bioshock.
|Mother Board||DFI LanParty nForce 590 SLI|
|CPU||AMD Athlon X2|
|Memory||Corsair XMS 2GB|
|Power Supply||Thermaltake Toughpower W0132RU 1000W|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Raptor|
|Display||Samsung 204T Westinghouse W4207|
We utilized FRAPS to test out the game, and ran through the same portion of the game for 30 seconds to get our average numbers shown below. The settings were at the absolute maximum for each benchmark so you are seeing a worse case scenario for each resolution. This game certainly is pretty not only on DX 10 cards, but we also tested it on GeForce 7 parts using DX9 in Windows XP, and it certainly can make the Xbox version look a bit dull.
At 1280X1024 we are pushing a good deal more pixels than the Xbox 360 does. As you can see the 8800GTX is a monster here powering over 70 frames per second. The 8800GTS cards are tied at 50 fps which is nothing to sneeze at, and indicates that the extra memory won't do much for you here. If you reference our Rainbow Six Vegas tests from back in December you will see similar numbers for the 8800s. It is hard to believe it has taken 8 months to get another Unreal 3 engine game on the PC, but it has. Switching to the cooler running 8600s you see a large drop off in performance. The 8600GTS manages just 22 fps, and the 8600GT OC can only do 16. Clearly if you have one of these cards then you may want to drop your resolution and some of the quality settings.
At 1600X1200 we see the expected drops in frames. The 8800GTX enjoys a 20 frame lead over the 640MB GTS, and the 320MB card finally does separate out a bit in performance, but not enough to be noticeable in the game. The 8600s both drop into the 10s and really are just not playable here.
Rainbow Six Vegaas was a straight port of the Xbox 360 version, and was riddled with bugs at release. Bioshock clearly had a lot more thought put into it on the PC side, and we were unable to find any issues at least in the demo. In a few hours we will have our hands on the full game. While preordering it at our local Gamestop we learned they had 47 pre orders for the 360 version, and just 9 for the PC. You have to feel bad for the red lighter crew as we fully expect this to brick Xboxes just like Gears of War did. It also is a sad commentary on the current state of PC gaming, something Dell swore to us they cared about at Quakecon. We find that hard to believe with 2/5 of our staff being ex Dell employees. Who knows. Regardless this game will take some serious hardware, and currently only the 8800GTX is able to knock performance out of the park. The GTS version will get you by though.
It is a sad shame that we don't have a DX10 Radeon card. From all appearances the Radeon crew just doesn't care about anything. They have made no attempts to be at Quakecon in years, and we no longer have anyone inside AMD's new GPU headquarters that appreciates us running their 512MB Radeon card launch lan, or some of the testing we did in COD2 to show that that much memory could matter. Perhaps we can hope that Sapphire or Asus steps up to the plate. We would love to be able to tell you how the Radeon parts perform with this title. It is sad that we can not.
Updated - We have added DirectX 9 benchmarks using Windows XP SP2 Professional. The same system as previously mentioned was used. Enjoy!
No surprise here as the 8800 GTS both come on strong but the 8600 GTS isn't too weak, beating the 7900GT.
At 1600x1200 there is little to no difference between the 640MB and 320MB video card, though this gap is sure to increase at higher resolutions. At about the GeForce 7900 GT the game starts to become unplayable, coming in at 14fps.
We will continue to add additional Bioshock testing in the next few days. We have high hopes for this title, and we will be adding more cards into the testing mix. In the meantime please check out our other most recent benchmarks and articles below of the latest games.
id Software's Marty Stratton Interview
Company of Heroes DX9/10 Image Quality Comparison
Enemy Territory Quake Wars Beta Performance
Company of Heroes DirectX 10 Performance Revealed
Lost Planet Benchmarks
Unreal 3 Engine Performance With Rainbow Six: Vegas
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Beta Performance
Company of Heroes Performance