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We Test Every Setting for 'Batman: Arkham City' So You Don't Have To

Now that Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs and Nvidia's Kepler GPUs have been announced, the question on every gamer's mind is "how well will these new platforms play the latest titles?" 

As part of our tests of the ASUS N56V, which has a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-3720QM processor,  8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GT630M GPU, we ran just about every permutation of the "Batman: Arkham City" benchmark as we could. We ran the tests with both the integrated Intel HD 4000 GPU as well as the discrete Nvidia GPU, concentrating our efforts on the latter. What follows are charts of each test-- 42 in all-- along with their results. 

For the purposes of these tests, we divided frame rates into three categories: Everything higher than 30 fps is what we consider playable; 25-30 fps isn't recommended, but you could probably get by; and 24 fps and below is unplayable.

First, a brief explainer of each of the features:

  • Anti-Aliasing: Among other things, this refers to the elimination of jagged edges in lines. FXAA and MXAA are two methods by which this is achieved.
  • MVSS and HBAO: Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion (HBAO) and Multi-View Soft Shadows (MVSS) are used to make shadows more realistic.
  • Tessellation: As described in Nvidia's explainer, this is a technique that divides large triangles into many smaller triangles, which increases the level of detail. 

Integrated Graphics (Intel HD 4000)

Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 1080
V SyncNoNoNoNoNoNo
Anti-AliasingDisabledDisabledFXAA (Low)FXAA (Low)OffOff
DirectX 11 FeaturesOffOffOffOffMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAO
DirectX 11 TessellationOffOffOffOffOffNormal
Detail LevelLowLowLowLowLowLow
FPS512748252827

Discrete Graphics (Nvidia GeForce GT 630M)

Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 1080
V SyncNoNoNoNoNoNo
Anti-AliasingDisabledDisabledFXAA (Low)FXAA (Low)4X MSAA4X MSAA
DirectX 11 FeaturesOffOffOffOffOffOff
DirectX 11 TessellationOffOffOffOffOffOff
Detail LevelLowLowLowLowLowLow
FPS734668425534

Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 1080
V SyncNoNoNoNoNoNo
Anti-AliasingDisabledDisabledFXAA (Low)FXAA (Low)4X MSAA4X MSAA
DirectX 11 FeaturesOffOffOffOffOffOff
DirectX 11 TessellationOffOffOffOffOffOff
Detail LevelMediumMediumMediumMediumMediumMedium
FPS724565415333

Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 1080
V SyncNoNoNoNoNoNo
Anti-AliasingDisabledDisabledFXAA (Low)FXAA (Low)4X MSAA4X MSAA
DirectX 11 FeaturesOffOffOffOffOffOff
DirectX 11 TessellationOffOffOffOffOffOff
Detail LevelHighHighHighHighHighHigh
FPS674161384930

Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 1080
V SyncNoNoNoNoNoNo
Anti-AliasingDisabledDisabledFXAA (Low)FXAA (Low)4X MSAA4X MSAA
DirectX 11 FeaturesOffOffOffOffOffOff
DirectX 11 TessellationOffOffOffOffOffOff
Detail LevelVery HighVery HighVery HighVery HighVery HighVery High
FPS583553324326

Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 1080
V SyncNoNoNoNoNoNo
Anti-AliasingDisabledDisabledDisabledDisabledDisabledDisabled
DirectX 11 FeaturesMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAO
DirectX 11 TessellationOffOffNormalNormalHighHigh
Detail LevelLowLowLowLowLowLow
FPS422440234023

Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 10801366 x 7681920 x 1080
V SyncNoNoNoNoNoNo
Anti-AliasingDisabledDisabledFXAA (Low)FXAA (Low)4X MSAA4X MSAA
DirectX 11 FeaturesMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAOMVSS and HBAO
DirectX 11 TessellationHighHighHighHighHighHigh
Detail LevelExtremeExtremeExtremeExtremeExtremeExtreme
FPS321830172112

Amazingly, with all the settings dialed down, you can play the game with the integrated GPU. However, as we saw with Sandy Bridge systems, DirectX 11 proves to be the undoing of the N56V, especially at its native resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Still, considering that the Nvidia GeForce GT630M GPU is on the low end of the company's new 600-series GPUs, we're looking forward to seeing how "Batman" performs on more powerful graphics cards.