Medium Quality 1680x1050 Performance
Please note that for the medium quality testing we have dropped all high-end graphics cards, as those were clearly capable of running with the better settings. Instead we have added other budget minded models, such as the recently reviewed Radeon HD 5450.
Something we noticed when switching from high to medium settings is that besides the significant difference in visual appearance, the frame rates did not seem to increase all that much. Even at 1680x1050, graphics cards such as the Radeon HD 5450, 3650, 4650 and GeForce 8600 GTS/GT 220 are quite useless. Note how the old Radeon X1950 Pro (mainstream card released in 2006) delivered the same level of performance as todays GeForce GT 220.
The newly released Radeon HD 5570 was a bit of a disappointment, dropping as low as 25fps, making it a fraction slower than the Radeon HD 4670 and much slower than the GeForce 9600 GT. Though admittedly it all depends on how you want to see a $80 graphics card performing on a brand new title.
If we were to get our way, the GeForce 9600 GT and GT 240 are about the slowest graphics cards you would want to play BioShock 2 at 1680x1050 using the medium quality settings. The Radeon HD 5670 was not bad, with a minimum of 34fps and an average of 54fps.