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by Rob Williams on November 10, 2010 in NVIDIA-Based GPU

NVIDIA launched its first Fermi-based GPU earlier this year in the form of the GeForce GTX 480, and it was met with mixed reception. Until now, it’s been the fastest single-GPU offering on the market, but certain downsides kept it from being the first-choice of many. Does NVIDIA’s first proper follow-up fix all that was wrong?

Mafia II

For fans of the original Mafia game, having to wait an incredible eight years for a sequel must’ve been tough. But as we found out in our review, the wait might be forgotten as the game is quite good. It doesn’t feature near as much depth as say, Grand Theft Auto IV, but it does a masterful job of bringing you back to the 1940’s and letting you experience the Mafia lifestyle.

Mafia II

Manual Run-through: Because this game doesn’t allow us to save a game in the middle of a level, we chose to use chapter 7, “In Loving Memory…”, to do our runthrough. That chapter begins us on a street corner with many people around, and from there, we run to our garage, get in our car, and speed out to the street. Our path ultimately leads us to the park, and takes close to two minutes to accomplish.

NVIDIA’s GTX 580 struts its stuff here, only being surpassed by AMD’s powerful dual-GPU offerings. The gains compared to the GTX 480 are not quite as high as I’d expect, but are still notable.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
AMD HD 5970 2GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX High, 2xAA
28
55.292
NVIDIA GTX 580 1536MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX High, 2xAA
26
47.695
AMD HD 6870 1GB (CrossFireX)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX High, 0xAA
28
82.029
AMD HD 6850 1GB (CrossFireX)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX High, 0xAA
28
69.177
NVIDIA GTX 480 1536MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX High, 0xAA
23
61.922
AMD HD 5870 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
39
60.947
AMD HD 6870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
33
54.626
NVIDIA GTX 470 1280MB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
30
50.955
AMD HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
27
38.468
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (SLI)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
35
49.230
AMD HD 6850 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
34
44.377
AMD HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
33
39.252
NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
27
38.625
AMD HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Shadows, Medium Geometry, SSAO Off, 0xAA
30
44.030
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (ASUS)
1920×1080 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
38
46.118
AMD HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – Medium Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
32
47.660

The GTX 580 can handle Mafia II at top-end settings, even with anti-aliasing high, so that becomes our best playable. Surprisingly, despite having no PhysX acceleration, the HD 5970 still manages to surpass the performance of NVIDIA’s latest card.