Two years ago we published an in-depth performance review of the fifth major installment in the Call of Duty series, World at War. Since then Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released almost exactly a year ago. Now on to a successive and very successful yearly release, Call of Duty: Black Ops arrives, paving the way for even more games in the series.

Developed by Treyarch, Call of Duty: Black Ops debuts a new theme around the Cold War conflict. We test 19 graphics card configurations, using AMD and Nvidia GPUs that ranged from the uber expensive models to budget-minded offerings.


Besides the fact that it's coming from the same development team, Black Ops essentially uses the older Call of Duty 4 game engine. To be precise the game runs on an enhanced World at War engine, which is in itself an improved version of what Call of Duty 4 used back in 2008. This new revision of the engine features a streaming texture technology also supported in Modern Warfare 2 that allows for larger levels, for example the "Payback" level where the player controls a helicopter. Additionally, lighting effects have been improved and the game supports 3D imaging rendered when using the correct hardware.

Read the complete performance review.