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Editor: Julio Franco

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Testing Methodology

For putting together this performance review we tested 24 graphics card configurations from AMD and Nvidia across all price ranges. The latest official drivers were used for all graphics cards.

We used Fraps to measure frame rates during a minute of gameplay from Bulletstorm's first single-player level: On the road to hell. The test begins on the third checkpoint where the player engages a number of hostiles on a cliff face. The scene has heaps going on and should help to provide an excellent representation of the performance gamers can expect to see from Bulletstorm.

The Intel Core i7 920 processor was overclocked to 3.70GHz in an attempt to remove any CPU bottlenecks that could influence high-end graphics cards' scores.

Bulletstorm is frame rate limited to 62fps by default. This is where we became quite frustrated as the developer decided to encrypt the configuration files, making it difficult or at least time consuming to edit them. Using a simple polyalphabetic cipher the configuration files contain gibberish unless properly decrypted. There is a program getting around the net called "BulletStormINIeditor.exe" which can help you here.

Once decrypted it is possible to disable the mouse smoothing feature, which will uncap your frame rate. There are a number of settings within this file that can be changed to not only make the game run better, but also play better, such as FOV (Field of View) that can be increased to give the game a much better feel.

Bulletstorm was tested at three resolutions: 1680x1050, 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 with 4x Anti-Aliasing enabled. Other quality settings include Postprocess, Texture, Shadow and World quality, all of which were set to high.

We understand many of you like to have CPU scaling performance included along with graphics, so we clocked our Core i7 processor at a range of frequencies to see how that affected performance. We also ran similar tests using a range of processors from AMD and Intel to see how they compared.

We'll be looking for an average of 60fps for stutter-free gameplay on Bulletstorm.

Test System Specs
- Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.70GHz
- x3 2GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 (CAS 7-7-7-20)
- Asus P6T Deluxe (Intel X58)
- OCZ ZX Series 1250w
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Serial ATA300)
- GeForce GTX 580 (1536MB)
- GeForce GTX 570 (1280MB)
- GeForce GTX 560 Ti (1GB)
- GeForce GTX 480 (1536MB)
- GeForce GTX 470 (1280MB)
- GeForce GTX 460 (1GB)
- GeForce GTX 285 (1GB)
- GeForce GTX 275 (896MB)
- GeForce GTX 260 (896MB)
- GeForce GTS 450 (1GB)
- GeForce 9800 GT (512MB)
- GeForce GT 240 (512MB)
- Radeon HD 6970 (2GB)
- Radeon HD 6950 (2GB)
- Radeon HD 6870 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 6850 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5870 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5850 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5830 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5770 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5670 (512MB)
- Radeon HD 4890 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 4850 (1GB)
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- Nvidia Forceware 266.66
- Nvidia Forceware 266.58
- ATI Catalyst 10.12