Last month, Mafia II publisher 2K games released some surprisingly stiff system requirements for the upcoming open-world shooter. If you want to enable all the in-game eye candy and physics effects, you're going to need a pretty powerful PC. The full game isn't set to arrive until August 24, but a demo has just been released on Steam if you want to see what all the fuss is about.
Incidentally, the fuss is largely related to the game's "PhysX/APEX Enhancements," which necessitate a recent GeForce graphics card. The minimum requirement for the APEX medium setting is a GeForce GTX 260 paired with a dedicated GeForce 9800 GTX for PhysX. You'll need to bump the primary graphics card up to at least a GTX 470 to handle the effects provided by the APEX high setting, and that's just to meet the minimum spec. 2K Games recommends a GeForce GTX 480/285 combo with a Core i7-920 and at least 2GB of RAM if you want to play mobster with all the options turned up.
Anyone who has bemoaned the fact that aging console hardware is holding back PC games really ought to give the Mafia II a shot. The demo weighs in at a reasonable 1.1GB, and at the very least, it should provide an interesting glimpse at what game developers can do when they're allowed to go to town with modern PC hardware. Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the tip.