Paradigm SHIFT: MainGear's Unique Gaming Rig Tested

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Metro 2033

Metro 2033
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a new game that's fast gaining a reputation as a poster child for DirectX 11-powered gorgeous visuals. The game takes place in the ruined tunnels of Moscow's subway system, 20 years after nuclear war obliterated modern civilization. Metro 2033 visually impresses in DX9, 10, and 11, but it's DX11 we're concerned with this time out. Antialiasing options in Metro 2033 are quite limited; we were forced to rely on the game's Adaptive Antialiasing as the performance hit from enabling MSAA hit performance severely enough to make the game stutter. We benchmarked a repeatable segment from the "Chase" mission. Metro 2033 sports an "Advanced PhysX" toggle as an in-game option—we've included screenshots with the effect enabled vs. disabled below. It may hurt performance to have the Advanced PhysX option toggled in systems with fewer CPU cores or less powerful video cards, but we were able to enable it without detecting any sort of performance hit. 


Origin Genesis: 1 or 2 x Radeon HD 5970, Maingear Shift: 2 x GeForce GTX 480

Once again we saw the Shift within spitting distance of our dual 5970s (~7 percent back) and well ahead of the single Radeon 5970. In the screenshots we've included below, the standard image is on top, the "Advanced PhysX" image underneath. Capturing exactly the same frame when doing image comparisons can be tricky, but we verified our test by comparing the shape and coloration of the flamethrower's light that's thrown across the left wall.

Metro 2033 "Chase" Sequence - Standard PhysX

Metro 2033 "Chase" Sequence - Advanced PhysX

Compare the smoke cloud in the two screenshots. In the top image, the fire is contained in a smaller area and the smoke at its edges is thick and black. There's an area of translucence just to the right of the focal point, but most of smoke is opaque. In the second image, the smoke only partly obscures the flames; we now see a distinct cone of fire 'behind' the smokescreen. The thicker smoke at the top of the fire is also semitransparent. The impact of using the Advanced PhysX option on game visuals is noticeable, but not game-changing; Batman: Arkham Asylum is a better poster child for the difference PhysX makes on game effects than Metro 2033.

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