Better graphics, halved performance

Aliens vs. Predator: DirectX 11 benchmarks and graphics comparison

With DirectX 11 Aliens vs. Predator offers anti-aliasing, tessellated Aliens and better shadows. PC Games Hardware compares the DirectX 11 graphics and performance with the DirectX 9 mode.

While the multiplayer demo of Aliens vs. Predator offered DirectX 9 only, the retail version also benefits from DirectX 10 and DirectX 11.

Aliens vs. Predator with DirectX11 (2)
Aliens vs. Predator with DirectX11 (2) [Source: view picture gallery]
Aliens vs. Predator: DirectX 11 graphics comparison
If you launch aliens vs. Predator with a Radeon HD 5000 graphics card, the game offers extended video options with three DirectX 11 exclusive settings: Anti-Aliasing, Tessellation and advanced shadows.

The anti-aliasing only smoothes the polygon edges while Alpha Tests and Shader are not changed. But since aliens vs. Predator uses quite a lot of blur effects, the image doesn't tend to flicker often anyway. The Tessellation is primarily used for the aliens and more or less ‘inflates' them - taking a closer look reveals that the Xenomorph model is more detailed and rounder. The advanced shadows don't actually matter since it is unlikely that you will recognize them during normal gaming. But if you take a close look at close range you will notice a slightly better edge filtering. The comparisons below demonstrate the difference:

Anti-aliasing compared (Attention: Screenshot detail only)

Aliens vs. Predator with DirectX11 (5)
Aliens vs. Predator with DirectX11 (5) [Source: view picture gallery]
Aliens vs. Predator: DirectX 11 benchmarks
For our tests we use a scripted sequence from the beginning of the Marine campaign where a alien breaks through a door. The graphics card of our test system is a Radeon HD 5870. In comparison to the DirectX 9 mode that delivers 65 frames per second on average, the framerate decreases to 44 fps with advanced shadows. With Tessellation activated additionally the performance is lowered slightly to 41 fps and with 4x anti-aliasing the framerate drops to 29 fps - less than half the speed of DX9. But the scene we use for our tests utilizes masses of anti-aliasing and Tessellation, usually the framerate is higher and drops in fights with aliens only. Since the advanced shadows and the Tessellation are not really visible during normal gameplay, we recommend you deactivate them to get better framerates.

According to Rebellion you can also use the DirectX 11 path if you have a DirectX 10 card and thus get a performance benefit in comparison to the DirectX 9 mode. Our test with a Geforce GTX 280 confirms this, but Aliens vs. Predator crashes regularly. Similar problems have been reported in different forums already, so you should stick to DX9 until the problem is fixed.

In our gallery you can find several DirectX 11 screenshots which have been taken at 2560 x 1600 pixels with full DX 11 details, 4x MSAA and 16:1 anisotropic filtering on a Radeon HD 5870.


More articles related to Aliens vs. Predator:
Aliens vs. Predator: Launch Trailer released
Aliens vs. Predator: Too gory for Germany?
Aliens vs. Predator (PC) supposed to kick consoles‘ ass - at least technology wise

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Marc Sauter (Feb 24, 2010)

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