1680x1050 – High/Medium/Low
Ideally we are looking for an average of 60fps, but seeing the GeForce GTX 480 spat out just 54fps at 1680x1050 using maxed out image quality settings, we do not see this happening. Regardless of this rule of thumb of ours, we found that Splinter Cell: Conviction played quite well with an average of 40fps.
Using the highest game quality settings there were just a select few graphics cards that could break this mark. This included the Radeon HD 5850, 5870 and GeForce GTX 480. Graphics cards that could also be added to this list include the GeForce GTX 470, Radeon HD 4870 X2 and GeForce GTX 295.
The Radeon HD 4890 averaged 39fps, putting it right on the border of what we consider to be perfectly playable performance in this game. The performance then drops off sharply, as the Radeon HD 4870 averaged 35fps, followed by the Radeon HD 5770 with 33fps.
The GeForce GTX 200 series graphics cards tested very poorly in Splinter Cell: Conviction, with the GTX 285 rendering 32fps, while the GTX 275 was slower with just 30fps, making it only as fast as the Radeon HD 5750 if you can believe that. The GeForce GTX 260 also sat between the Radeon HD 4770 and 4850 graphics cards, which is highly unusual given it typically mimics Radeon HD 4870 performance.
Lowering the quality settings to medium turns anti-aliasing off and reduces the anisotropic filtering level to just 4x. As a result frame rates improve considerably. The GeForce GTX 480 averaged 63fps, while the Radeon HD 5870 managed 58fps. The Radeon HD 5850 was a fraction slower with 56fps, followed closely by the Radeon HD 4890 with 54fps.
Neither SLI or Crossfire technology appeared to be working correctly, as the GeForce GTX 480 SLI and Radeon HD 5870 Crossfire configurations were both slower than the single GPU alternatives.
Again there is something wrong with the GeForce GTX 200 series performance. The GeForce GTX 275 was only able to match the Radeon HD 5750. Most of the tested graphics cards were able to deliver playable performance, with just a few graphics cards slipping well below 40fps. Such cards included the Radeon HD 5670, GeForce 9800 GT and 9600 GT.
The low quality settings, which we hope most of you can avoid as they don't do this game justice, allowed the budget/older graphics cards to deliver reasonably good performance. Apart from the old GeForce 9800 GT and 9600 GT that were still seen rendering less than 40fps, all other graphics cards exceeded 50fps.