Batman: Arkham Asylum & PhysX Gameplay Review

In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Dark Knight pummels an endless stream of thugs, but will the game deliver the same two-fisted brutality to your video card? Find out as we examine gameplay performance and image quality on nine of today's video cards. Extensive testing of NVIDIA's PhysX and what it means to your gameplay experience!


Test System Setup

For our test system platform we are using an ASUS Blitz Extreme motherboard with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor at 3.66GHz, and 4GB of OCZ Platinum series DDR3-1600. For the power supply, we will be using a CoolerMaster Real Power Pro 1250W .

While it might be a bit "overkill," we use the 3.6GHz overclocked quad-core processor in an attempt to keep from putting our evaluation into a position of being CPU limited. Obviously, we make every effort to not use CPU limited games for video card evaluations, but the 3.6GHz processor seems to put many peoples’ minds at ease when it comes to that subject.

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Driver Setup

With both the NVIDIA and AMD video cards we will be using the latest drivers. For the NVIDIA video cards, we are using the ForceWare 191.07 WHQL driver. For the AMD ATI Radeon HD 4000 series video cards, we are using the Catalyst 9.9 WHQL driver. For the Radeon HD 5000 series video cards, we are using the Catalyst 8.66.6 Beta 2 driver supplied by AMD, which is dated October 7th.

Evaluation Method

We evaluate what each video card configuration can supply us in terms of a playable gaming experience while supplying the best culmination of resolution and "eye candy" graphical settings. We focus on quality and immersion of the gameplay experience rather than how many frames per second the card can get in a canned benchmark or prerecorded timedemo situation that often do not represent real gameplay like you would experience at home. Then we will follow with apples-to-apples testing based on real gameplay as well.