Single page Print

Batman: Arkham City
We did a little Batman-style free running through the rooftops of Gotham for this one.

We tried testing this game in its DirectX 11 mode at 2560x1600 in our Radeon HD 7970 review, but even the fastest cards suffered quite a few long frame times. Here, we've stuck with DX11, but we've dialed back the resolution to 1920x1200, to see if that helps.

Testing in DX11 makes sense for benchmarking ultra high-end graphics cards, I think. I have to say, though, that the increase in image quality with DX11 tessellation, soft shadows, and ambient occlusion isn't really worth the performance penalty you'll pay. The image quality differences are hard to see; the performance differences are abundantly obvious. This game looks great and runs very smoothly at 2560x1600 in DX9 mode, even on a $250 graphics card.

Well, so much for eliminating those long-latency frames. Every card here produces quite a few.

Fortunately, our new tools allow us to put even these spiky, inconsistent frame times into perspective. The fact that the 99th percentile result is essentially the inverse of the FPS average tells us that all of the cards are afflicted pretty similarly by those long frame times. Also, the fact that the 7970 and 7950 turn in 99th percentile frame times of about 40 milliseconds tells us they both perform reasonably competently—99% of the frames are returned at the equivalent of 25 FPS or better. The Radeons do the best job of avoiding the worst cases, too. Even the Radeon HD 6970 spends less time working on frames that take longer than 50 milliseconds than the GeForce GTX 580 does.