Palit NVIDIA GTX460 in Surround: 1GB vs. 2GB - Just Cause 2

Submitted by skipclarke on 26 September, 2010 - 03:16

Article Type: 

Genre: Open World Action/ Third Person Shooter
Surround Support: Excellent

All settings at maximum except shadows on medium, SSAO off, Vsync off, GPU water off.

Here is a game I didn’t test in 5760x1200. I don’t know quite why, but in Just Cause 2, if bezel correction is disabled, I want to puke. The built in benchmarks do not appear to be representative of actual gameplay. Dark Tower reports too high framerates, as does Desert Sunrise. Concrete Jungle, in comparison, has several points where framerates tank. Thus this involved me loading a savegame, making my way from a beach across a stretch of water, over trees with the parachute before blowing stuff up at one of the bases. So results are for 6064x1200 only.

Just Cause 2

From the framerates of 6064x1200 it should be evident that 1920x1200 is going to be more than playable on 1GB GTX460 SLI. In fact originally (pre-Surround) I was getting 50-55fps on a 4870X2 in Just Cause 2, which jumped to 80-95fps with GTX460 SLI. Without anti-aliasing, Just Cause 2 is extremely playable at Surround resolutions. I didn’t even notice that the framerate dipped to 20fps at one point.

Just Cause 2

But it is immediately evident that with 2GB to VRAM to play with, framerates are vastly improved.

Just Cause 2

Looking at the VRAM usage reveals why enabling anti-aliasing results in a framerate drop. It also shows that Just Cause 2 is remarkably VRAM efficient in Surround.

Out of curiosity, I did some more testing with Just Cause 2: just how much VRAM could I get it to gobble, and how playable would it be? Well, the short answer is; lots, and not very. Turning anti-aliasing up to frankly ridiculous levels (and I believe I may have found a bug, as the game actually looked fairly ugly with 16x(Q)CSAA enabled – textures lacked sharpness and definition, edges were badly muddied) took VRAM usage from 1368MB with 4xAA to 1742MB. Which, to me, didn’t seem like a great increase from a very large jump in AA level – perhaps the CSAA implementation is more VRAM efficient? Enabling SSAO uses 250MB of VRAM instantly. No wonder it had such impact when enabling on a 1GB card…