Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How’s Your PC Handling The Batman?

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How’s Your PC Handling The Batman?

With Warner Bros Games Montréal handling development, many fans were worried that Arkham Origins wouldn’t (couldn’t?) live up to its Rocksteady-produced predecessors. As is often the case with console-oriented releases, PC gamers were burdened with the extra concern of whether to expect a quality port.

Although Origins has received its share of criticism, it doesn’t seem to be an outright disappointment with respectable scores on most review aggregators, including our own (Batman: Arkham Origins 73). Additionally, it seems the PC version has received some special attention in the graphics department.

Despite being built with Epic’s ageing Unreal Engine 3, the developer used a heavily modified version of the software. Granted, we’ve heard that countless times from other studios at this point, but the tweaks do seem pretty substantial in this case, especially considering all of the game’s DirectX 11 and PhysX effects.

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

DX11 enhancements including Tessellation, Ambient Occlusion HBAO+, Percentage Closer Soft Shadows (PCSS), and Depth of Field (DoF) are used in Origins, as are Nvidia exclusives such as TXAA and PhysX. Folks with a supporting GeForce card can look forward to more realistic and dynamic environments.

With PhysX enabled, some areas contain additional snow or fog that reacts to Batman moving through it. These effects are diminished or disabled without PhysX support. Before you throw your keyboard, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to experience some of them with your new Radeon R9 290X.

Origins has two levels of PhysX: normal and high. The former adds flags, banners, papers and more, which interact with the world in an expected way. The CPU can handle this mode for AMD owners so they don’t miss out on everything, but you’ll definitely want to play with a GeForce for maximum eye candy.

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

APEX Turbulence effects come with PhysX on high, enhancing existing particle effects and adding more visuals elsewhere. Compared to the PhysX Particles in Arkham Asylum and City, APEX Particles are more realistic, can be manipulated in more ways, and most importantly, they run faster, optimising frame rates.

Since APEX Turbulence effects can’t be enabled using AMD graphics cards, we are only going to look at the normal PhysX mode in our testing. Of course, we will also test performance with PhysX disabled entirely in addition to our usual CPU performance analysis, including Intel and AMD overclocking results.

Testing Methodology

When benchmarking a new game, we usually find a demanding scene to benchmark using Fraps, but as with previous Batman titles, Arkham Origins has a solid built-in benchmark (note: it must be executed using “benchmark” as a shortcut target — it doesn’t seem accessible from the game’s GUI itself).

Adjusting the benchmark’s settings is equally crude as they are stored in an XML file located in the game’s Documents folder. To test many configurations, we had to create several versions of the original GFXSettings.BatmanArkhamOrigins.xml and then swap them in accordingly for benchmarking.

This was slow and tedious, but we wanted to use the built-in benchmark so it would be easy for you to compare your own results. In the end, we tested 30 graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia using the latest beta drivers. Apart from testing at three resolutions (1680×1050, 1920×1200 and 2560×1600) we also tested with FXAA and MSAAx8 enabled along with Physx Normal and Physx Off for a broader picture.

  • HIS Radeon R9 290X (4096MB)
  • HIS Radeon R9 280X (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7970 GHz (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7970 (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7950 Boost (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7950 (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon R9 270X (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7870 (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7850 (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7770 (1024MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 6970 (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 6870 (1024MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan (6144MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 780 (3072MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 770 (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 760 (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 680 (2048MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti (2048MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti (2048MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 (1536MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti (1024MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 (1536MB)
  • Intel Core i7-4770K (3.50GHz)
  • x2 8GB Crucial DDR3-2133 (CAS 11-12-11-24)
  • Asrock Z87 Extreme9 (Intel Z87)
  • OCZ ZX Series 1250w
  • Crucial m4 512GB (SATA 6Gb/s)
  • Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit
  • Nvidia Forceware 331.58 Beta
  • AMD Catalyst 13.11 (Beta 6)

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

Benchmarks (FXAA High): 1680×1050, 1920×1200, 2560×1600

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

Batman: Arkham Origins is surprisingly GPU-friendly at 1680×1050 using FXAA and no PhysX. Other than those two settings, everything else was cranked up to its maximum value and even the slowest card we tested with (Radeon HD 6750) managed 30fps.

The GTX 550 Ti hit a comfortable 44fps — performance that is plenty playable, even if we’d be happier with 60fps. Fortunately, that’s easy to achieve, as demonstrated by the old HD 6970’s 66fps and the GTX 560 Ti’s 74fps.

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

At 1920×1200 the HD 6750 and 7750 are forced below the 30fps mark while the GTX 550 Ti and HD 7770 slipped under 40fps. It took the GTX 560 Ti, 650 Ti and HD 7870 to break 60fps, but we’re still surprised how well the game runs at 1920×1200 on maximum quality (again, except MSAA and PhysX which we test in the next pages).

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

Arkham Origins becomes a bit more demanding at 2560×1600, requiring an HD 7970 to average 60fps. However, since 40fps is acceptable in this title, more affordable solutions such as the R9 270X and GTX 650 Ti Boost can still hold up to the task of producing playable frame rates at this resolution.

Benchmarks: MSAAx8, Physx Off

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

After ditching FXAA for the better looking and far more demanding MSAAx8, performance fell across the board with the GTX 660 averaging 54fps (from 102fps with FXAA), for example. To exceed 60fps with MSAAx8 at this resolution, you’ll need at least the R9 270X, HD 7950 or GTX 760.

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

Jumping up to 1920×1200 requires the GTX 760, GTX 670 or HD 7950 Boost for 60fps, though the vanilla GTX 660 delivered a very playable 45fps and the HD 7870 was even faster at 47fps.

Arkham Origins Benchmarked: How's Your PC Handling The Batman?

Increasing the resolution to 2560×1600 reduced the mighty R9 290X to 60fps, which was still 2fps faster than the GTX Titan, interestingly. Similarly, the HD 7970 GHz Edition was 6fps faster than the GTX 680 and 3fps faster than the GTX 770.

The frame time results were quite different to the fps data as the GTX 760 was just 1% faster than the GTX 660 Ti and 3% slower than the HD 7870.1


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  • I can play max settings, 1920×1200 with a 670. Not sure about an accurate FPS but seems like 60. I just can’t be bothered to play the game. Plan to finish it by today to play BF4

  • I need an upgrade to my 7750. Hopefully we’ll see more of a price drop with the 760/770 and 7970 over the next few weeks with ATI’s re-branded cards they just brought out

  • For the more knowledgeable – I’m thinking about building a machine with a 7950 boost or 7970. Is the the 7970 worth the additional cost, and how does a build like this compare to the next-gen consoles? Can I expect to play games in 1080p at 60 fps for a reasonable period of time?

    • You can never truly compare a PC with a console, next gen games that are optimised to pc will push it too it’s limit.

      I have a 7950 and AO with a good array of settings on high pushed it hard, I managed to get 100% 60fps once I sacrificed dx11 ambient occlusion, yet this game was made for current gen.

      That being said yes you will be able to run next gen games at 60fps and full HD probably for the duration of the “next gen”, will you be able to play them on their highest settings all the time, no. But also note that games are becoming more CPU intensive as multi-threading has become easier to implement and there is more head room in CPU these days then there is GPU.

      • Hi Piat – thanks. That’s exactly what I was wondering about. I’m a bang for my buck gamer – I’m not that fussed if the game is super detailed as long as it runs good!

    • I’ve got a 7950, and the way to approach it is, what I see now, i will see for the rest of the “next-gen”. Will it always max settings? No. But the level of fidelity and FPS that I currently get is very impressive and I will be content.

  • Im running the 660, with an i5, 8gb ram, all settings turned max, with physX and Im getting +50 for a constant framerate? Running in 1920×1080 though. That’s obviously affecting it. Still, doesn’t make it a more fun game, not quite as good as Arkham City tbh.

    • Also running it on a GTX670, albeit at 2560×1440, and it’s been completely and consistently smooth. On the technical level it runs pretty well.

      Now if only it were a bit less buggy 🙁

    • GTX760 here, runs almost everything on maxed settings at 1080p, only the AA turned down to TXAA Low. Very nice looking game.

  • the only problem i have running this maxed out is the cinematic at the end of the fights, are really slow, badly, Im not talking slow motion im talking 5fps juttering. Though all things considered (on a different computer) the cinematic ends to fights in Fallout and New Vegas and indeed Skyrim do as well. So no idea why, but not only are cinematic ends to fights stupid but they always seem to perform worse.

  • running it on max everything (physx, etc) at 1080p on my SLI 670’s… average between 80 and 100fps… very rare drops to 44 for some reason… possibly texture loading or something…

    either way… looks fantastic and runs great (playing on a 144hz screen btw)

  • I was kind of surprised by how well Origins ran, I was getting about 70 fps on City and getting just over 40 fps in Origins. That’s maxxed out at 7680×1440 with no AA. The PhysX and DX11 features were very impressive.

    • never got around to trying batman when i had a surround setup… probably one of the only games it’d be epic with and i never tried it… lol

      what gpu’s you running? (yeah i assume you’re running multiple cause thats why i’ve got 2 670’s lol)

  • GTX 690, 1080p, highest settings for everything except motion blur and DOF turned off, 3d vision, perfect, never a hitch.

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