BioShock 2 Graphics Performance In-depth

By on February 16, 2010, 3:29 AM
Time really does fly as I can recall testing the original BioShock like it was yesterday. However that was actually over two years ago and as you can imagine the GPU scene was quite different from today. Back then we were testing with the Nvidia GeForce 8 and ATI Radeon HD 2000 series graphics cards, while the Intel Core 2 Duo processor was the de facto standard for performance computing and gaming.

Today we are revisiting the franchise, as 2K Games unveiled BioShock 2 last week. Like with most games, we feel BioShock 2 needs to be played at a reasonably high resolution with graphics settings maxed-out to be enjoyed in full. This article should give you a good indication of what hardware is needed or at least where you stand to get there. Considering not all of us can afford a graphics card upgrade at the drop of a hat, we will also show you what settings you may have to use for decent frame rates in this new first person shooter.


To thoroughly evaluate the performance of BioShock 2 we have taken over 25 popular ATI and Nvidia graphics cards, tested them using medium and high graphics quality settings at three resolutions that are generally supported by 22, 24 and 30 LCD monitors.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 26

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dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Nice article guys.

Glad to see such a wide range of cards tested-not every gamer has the latest-and-greatest, and great to see most everyone is catered for (excepting Mr Bennett and his eyefinity lust).

skitzo_zac skitzo_zac, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Good work with the benchmarking, although I have already been playing this for the last few days at maximum settings

Article said:

Time really does fly as I can recall testing the original BioShock like it was yesterday. However that was actually over two years ago and as you can imagine the GPU scene was quite different from today. Back then we were testing with the Nvidia GeForce 8 and ATI Radeon HD 2000 series graphics cards, while the Intel Core 2 Duo processor was the de facto standard for performance computing and gaming.

This made me chuckle as I am playing Bioshock 2 with a Core 2 Duo and GeForce 8 currently. Although my native resolution is 'only' 1280x1024 so my hardware usually cuts it for that on most modern games.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

skitzo_zac you can certainly play with older hardware, especially if you are gaming at low resolutions which you said you are. The 9800 GT which is basically an 8 series card averaged 55fps at 1680x1050 and that will allow for playable performance, it just depends on how picky you are. Anyway thanks heaps for the feedback so far guys!

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree - Great coverage on the cards tested. I have a mid/low end graphics card and am usually comfortable dealing with lower resolutions and lower game settings :-) Although this does seriously make me want to get a faster setup :-)

CodePhoeniX said:

I cant access page 2, and page one CSS seems all screwed up.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Experiencing the same as CodePhoeniX. Can't access the article.

Docnoq said:

Ya, the article links are wonky.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Sorry about that guys, it will be resolved shortly .

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

We got it under control, the article should open fine now.

Thanks everyone for letting us know about the issue.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

BTW - I thought this was an awesome article... very thorough. I am wondering how much difference a slower CPU is going to make, though. Guess I'll see when I get the game.

Guest said:

I'm wondering the same thing. Is this game cpu sensitive or not?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thanks for the fix. Excellent article - great to see the broad spectrum of cards tested. Also nice to know that my GTX 285 will provide me more than enough horsepower to run the game at highest settings.

momir said:

Yeah its really thorough,nice,helpful! But i would like to correct Julio for the Original Bioshock regarding 8600 GTS performance if i may. Well back then i had 8600GTS and an athlon x2 4400+ (still have the CPU ) and i played on 1280x1024 with all the bells and whistles on aproximate 50-60 fps,it was just flawless gameplay so i dunno about that low settings and barely playing on the same res

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Like most fps games it is primarily GPU limited and therefore any relatively new CPU will do.

momir you would be correcting me Please not that this opinion is based on what we saw when testing the original game and I tend to be very picky about performance. We also often test games in scenes where a lot of action is taking place.

Tgard said:

Well I guess that leaves me out with a Diamond Viper 3870 512MB card even though I play at 1280X1024. Knew my card was getting old but it works for my current games. Was hoping to squeeze a bit more life out of it but you are right about the low and medium settings looking bad. If I can't enjoy high settings on this game then it's not worth playing to me as I am picky too. Can't believe an $85 card (5570) beats mine already. Would expect todays $150+ cards to do that, but not an $85 budget card. Sheesh!!

skitzo_zac skitzo_zac, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

[-Steve-] said:

skitzo_zac you can certainly play with older hardware, especially if you are gaming at low resolutions which you said you are. The 9800 GT which is basically an 8 series card averaged 55fps at 1680x1050 and that will allow for playable performance, it just depends on how picky you are. Anyway thanks heaps for the feedback so far guys!

I didn't mean to detract from the article or anything. I am fully aware that if and when I get a new higher resolution monitor my setup especially GPU will not cut it anymore.

And those people worried about their CPUs being powerful enough, I am running an original Conroe based C2D E6300@2.45GHz with no performance issues.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Not a problem I really appreciate the feedback, keep it coming.

Alster37 Alster37 said:

if anyones having crashes on a win 7 machine try right clicking the bioshock 2 icon and click run as directx 9 and the crashes should go away.

Guest said:

I still have a GTX 7900 and a native resolution of 1600x1200.

Any thoughts on what performance would be?

What are the best setting I should change for a playable experience?

Guest said:

Do you know if Bioshock 2 is Eyefinity friendly? I assume any new release will be. A little bit nervous as DragonAge is unplayable on Eyefinity as it has major draw-in issues. Did (or do you plan on) you do any testing with an Eyefinity setup?

Captain828 Captain828 said:

While BioShock 2 is a hot new title, the new AvP game would be a lot more interesting to test out, especially since it has DX11 support.

Besides that, the usual high-quality TS articles we're all used to see and read.

Guest said:

This glorified rehash should run on the same hardware as it older brother. After all its doing exactly that in the consoles.

Guest said:

Completed it a week ago on my laptop with a Geforce 7600 Go (below min spec), not the lowest settings but pretty low, so for me the sequel looked worse than the original (which I played at highish settings).

Overall, the increase in requirements doesn't seem to match the graphical improvement

Guest said:

Nice review!

Well i am able to play everything high on a 8800gtx, what really surprised me.

Anyway, the menues suck to navigate, and when i had quite some save games, it took like 2 seconds to change from one menue to another.

still a great game :)

Guest said:

How about the 3850/3870 on high? I didn't seem to notice those on the high quality benchmark settings. Back when I played Bioshock, it seemed i got smooth enough framerates at 3850 (at 1280x1024). So I'll just note that if people still have the 3850/3870 and still have a 19 inch 4:3 monitor, it should still be very playable on high quality.

zizzi said:

I am running this game on E6600 @ 2.7 gig (100% cpu usage!!!!)

a crt monitor that has no use so stiil new picture and a 7600gt gpu.

It looks ace , runs on max settings and doesnt lag. .

1920 x ??

Who needs it! I guess you don't miss what you never had!

As you can guess I game on a budget of recovered then

cheaply tweaked hardware.

I enjoyed the game immensely ...

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