Mafia II GPU & CPU Performance Review

By on January 3, 2013, 10:32 PM
Mafia II is a third-person action shooter that combines Grand Theft Auto-like gameplay mechanics with a world heavily inspired by the classic films Godfather and Goodfellas. Not coincidentally the protagonist is a soon to be made-man called Vito. The game is a direct sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven released in 2002 having received mostly positive reactions from critics and gamers alike. Developed by the same team as the original (2K Czech, formerly Illusion Softworks), Mafia II was released for the Windows platform last August 24th. The game also received simultaneous launches for the PS3 and Xbox 360, but in spite of this the visual quality of the PC version does not suffer from the "crappy console port" syndrome. Rather Mafia II looks to be one of the best games of 2010 to show off the capabilities of current generation high-end GPUs.
So with a new full version copy of Mafia II loaded onto our test system and two dozen graphics cards lined up ready to test, we set about to deliver another GPU & CPU performance article. Not only have we tested a huge range of graphics cards, but we will also look at the impact PhysX has on performance with and without a dedicated card. As usual, we'll also take a quick look at CPU scaling performance for those concerned if they have the necessary guts on that front as well. Read the complete review.




User Comments: 34

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isamuelson isamuelson said:

I downloaded the demo and it ran perfectly on my X3 720 BE (unlocked the 4th core) and my 5750.

As much as Physx is touted, I just don't see it being worth all of that, especially with the major hit you take when it's enabled and the tests that TechSpot did proves it.

If Physx added a lot more to the table, it would be worth it, but at least in this game, it's not.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Its a shame, I have seen and used some of the demos of what Physx can do but I'm yet to find a game that fully utilizes it. I guess their is always next gen. Although imagine the performance hit if you added this tech into Crysis. you'd be lookin at 18FPS at 720p res on a GTX260 anyone?

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Where is GTX295? Lol it's like it's disappeared from tests on here.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

st1ckm4n said:

Where is GTX295? Lol it's like it's disappeared from tests on here.

Good point! that would have been interesting to see that, would one core do the Phyx's stuff and the other for the rest? that would have been most interesting, go on techspot, spoil us with some results :P

Staff
Steve Steve said:

SLI was not working yet...

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Yeahhh I saw the SLI comment that was edited into the article after writing my comment. But it's still partly-valid: the GTX 295 was last seen like 10 reviews ago!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

burty117 said:

st1ckm4n said:

Where is GTX295? Lol it's like it's disappeared from tests on here.

Good point! that would have been interesting to see that, would one core do the Phyx's stuff and the other for the rest? that would have been most interesting, go on techspot, spoil us with some results :P

Yes, you can disable SLI and use GPUA for graphics, GPUB as dedicated PhysX.

If someone can tell me if I can do a similar review on the demo-version (and if TS can't do it later), I'll post up results. I have GTX 295 and i7 920.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Look at the GeForce GTX 275 + GeForce GTX 460 results, they will be about the same.

On a side note we cannot include every card under the sun. We do our best to include the popular ones and the GTX 295 is not that popular, plus there is little point including it if its not working. Anyway will look to include it in the future when it works which is not always the case with new games such as Mafia II.

Guest said:

Good To see my ATi 5870 + Nvidia 8800gtx is still a killer combo in physX games, best of both worlds for the win huh?

To the person who mentioned the GTX295, i would have liked to see that and the 4870x2 in the list too, would have been nice =)

To the person who mentioned PhysX in Crysis.. seriously? Cryengine already has the most advanced physics system of any game to date, why would you want to add an inferior technology to it? same story with every other nvidia game that doesn't include "physX" its because they already have a solid engine in place to do most of that stuff anyway.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

[-Steve-] said:

Look at the GeForce GTX 275 + GeForce GTX 460 results, they will be about the same.

On a side note we cannot include every card under the sun. We do our best to include the popular ones and the GTX 295 is not that popular, plus there is little point including it if its not working. Anyway will look to include it in the future when it works which is not always the case with new games such as Mafia II.

Its true its not very popular, but neither is the HD5970?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

To the person who mentioned PhysX in Crysis.. seriously? Cryengine already has the most advanced physics system of any game to date, why would you want to add an inferior technology to it? same story with every other nvidia game that doesn't include "physX" its because they already have a solid engine in place to do most of that stuff anyway.

Yeah I know, Don't worry, I wasn't saying replace it, I was just mentioning how slow the game would play with it! I mean considering the small amount of extra glory it gave this game, in crysis if it did all the phyx's that currently happen in crysis it would slow to a crawl!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

What I find interesting are the results on page 5 and 7. Page 7 lists fps for using a 460 to handle PhysX, while page 5 has just the single card with PhysX off. Huge difference in fps here.. odd, by 'offloading to 460' does the game use it in ADDITION to the original card? I thought the way it worked was original GPU for graphics only, 460 for PhysX.. :\

Guest said:

@ st1ckm4n - I think you have it around the wrong way. With PhysX off the cards are faster which makes sense does it now? With PhysX on they are all way slower and then with the dedicated PhysX card they are a bit faster but still slower when compared to the results with PhysX off. This makes sense yeah?!?!?

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

But I thought dedicated 460 GPU for PhysX did ALL of the PhysX processing? I guess not.

Anyway, installed demo, here are benchies for GTX 295 out of curiosity, burty117:

i7 920 @ stock

1680 x 1050 res (I only have 1080p monitor)

Full detail, 2x AA, max AF

PhysX off: 66 fps (72 on overclock woooo! )

PhysX on, PhysX-GPU set to 'auto' via nvidia options: 28 fps

PhysX on, PhysX-GPU set to B, informed me SLI is not active so assume GPUA is for graphics: 30 fps

PhysX off, SLI disabled: 38 fps.

74% SLI boost, seems slim considering recent SLI results in other games.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Cheers st1ckm4n! 74% seems ok, I thought SLI didn't work with this game? although 30fps is exactly great. would be interesting to find out what a higher res would do to the FPS?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I meant "although 30fps ISN'T great..."

Sorry for double post.

BlindObject said:

No GTX465 again...

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Deleted the game, sorry. :P It definitely ran well at 1080p for the 10 secs I had it playing tho. V sync too. However that's with both GPU's enabled, heh. And PhysX off, can't remember AA sorry.

KG363 KG363 said:

Thank you for including the x3 720 in the cpu's.

Also, You should do a dedicated Physx round up. Like use 9600gt-gtx 460 and see what the best value is

grvalderrama said:

how do the consoles handle this game?? Most high-end cards (and some mid-range cards) are much more powerful than ps3 or xbox 360, and some cards struggle to deliver playable performance with this game.

KG363 KG363 said:

The consoles have much lower detail, no AA, and little physx

Staff
Steve Steve said:

No GTX465 again...

Be prepared to make the same short post next time we do a game performance article. We do not have a GeForce GTX 465 graphics card and we don't really want one, plus no one will send us a card as they don't want their name associated with a bad product. There was never any point to the card and with the GTX 460 out and about there is definitely no point to it now.

On a side note how is it that no one can work out where a card such as the GeForce GTX 465 should be positioned in terms of performance despite having 23 other graphics cards to work with. I mean you know how fast the GeForce GTX 470 was, you know how fast the GeForce GTX 460 was so... connect the dots it's the same architecture.

Thank you for including the x3 720 in the cpu's.

Also, You should do a dedicated Physx round up. Like use 9600gt-gtx 460 and see what the best value is

I agree testing the dedicated PhysX performance of different Nvidia cards would have been ideal. However I had to decide between doing that or showing how all the graphics cards perform with a dedicated card. With the results you see in the review I ran the in-game benchmark well over 600 times to get those results, which is a few days of solid testing.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I ran the in-game benchmark well over 600 times to get those results, which is a few days of solid testing.

I am just curious why so many times? were there a lot of variations in the runs?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I am just curious why so many times? were there a lot of variations in the runs?

There were 245 unique tests, each must be run three times to take the average. Otherwise it is likely you will end up with quite a few inaccurate results. So really its over 700+ tests but that is still well over 600

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

, post: 928507"]There were 245 unique tests, each must be run three times to take the average. Otherwise it is likely you will end up with quite a few inaccurate results. So really its over 700+ tests but that is still well over 600

Opps! I missed the 245 different test part:o Thanks

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I bet you are sick of rubble.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I bet you are sick of rubble.

Yeah I am over it mate Its cool the first few times but before long you don't even notice it!

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

HAHA! well done Steve! I don't think I could ever look at a game test over 100 times let alone well over 700+ times,

Thats dedication right there!

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

HAHA! well done Steve! I don't think I could ever look at a game test over 100 times let alone well over 700+ times,

Thats dedication right there!

I bet he was mumbling 'not again goomba' in his sleep that night.

ElectroGloop said:

There seems to be an issue on this game where the PhysX particles are on the GPU but cloth is still being processed on CPU even if you have a dedicated card for it, so that can cause quite a big slowdown. On my system, PhysX turns itself off after about 30 mins or so of playing anyway.

I hope these issues get patched soon....

Guest said:

Why not any X6 CPU?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Why not any X6 CPU?

Give me one and I will add it. AMD have a sample shortage and we had to send ours back...

Guest said:

A huge chunk of PhysX (cloth) is being processed on CPU in all scenarios: http://physxinfo.com/news/3892/mafia-ii-is-not-using-gpu-for
physx-cloth-simulation/

That's why CPU powee is critical if you want to play with PhysX enabled.

Guest said:

I wish techspot would had included an Athlon II CPU for budget-minded gamers like me. Also for the sake of determining the performance gain by the inclusion of L3 cache.

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