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The Gamer's Hardware Guide

Splinter Cell: Blacklist Low End Performance Guide

 

IMAGE COMPARISON AND PERFORMANCE

Texture Quality

Recommended setting – Medium

 

The change in texture quality is very visible across each setting. It improved the wall and wood texture, the cloth design, and the writings. The performance hit is minimal on medium. Setting to high and ultra the minimum fps is very much affected reducing to 24 from 30 fps.

 

Shadow Quality

Recommended setting – Medium

 

Shadow quality is also visible across each settings, improving the edge of the shadows. Ultra setting gives blurring effect on the edges. On medium setting there is almost no performance hit while on high and ultra the performance hit is moderate.

 

Parallax

Recommended setting – On

 

Parallax setting gives more detail on bricks and ground texture and the performance hit is very minimal.

 

Tessellation

Recommended setting – Off

 

Tessellation adds more detail and bulging effect on tree trunk and makes the ear and jars more rounded and smoother. Other than those objects, there no tessellation on objects expected to be tessellated, like bricks and stones. The performance hit is moderate.

 

Texture Filtering

Recommended setting – 8x

 

Texture filtering makes the ground texture sharper and more visible compared when turned off, the texture s are washed out. The higher the value, farther textures will be filtered. In terms of performance, it barely affects the average fps but the minimum fps is consistently decreasing as the value increases.

 

Dynamic Ambient Occlusion

Recommended setting – Field AO

 

Ambient Occlusion produces self-shadow around objects, most visible on corners. There is no visible change between SSAO and SSAO+ while HBAO+ produces more shadows than HBAO. Overall, HBAO+ looks best but also the most demanding. Turning it off will definitely gain additional frames per second.

 

Anti-Aliasing

Recommended setting – FXAA

 

Both of the SSAA makes the wires, bars, and corners smoother but also the most demanding. MSAA doesn’t reduces the jaggedness as SSAA does but still take moderate performance hit. FXAA looks like SSAA but with some blurring effect with minimal performance hit.

 

DirectX

Recommended setting – DirectX 9

 

DirectX 11 has better shadows due to HBAO+ and Ultra shadows. DX 9 has no HBAO, MSAA, tessellation, and ultra shadows. On the performance side, DX 9 performs better and recommended for lower end systems.

 

Preset

Low Medium High Ultra Custom
Texture Low Medium High Ultra Medium
Shadow Low Medium High Ultra Medium
Parallax Off On On On On
Tessellation Off Off Off On Off
Texture Filtering Off 2x 4x 16x 8x
Dynamic Ambient Occlusion Field AO Field AO & SSAO Field AO & SSAO+ Field AO & HBAO+ Field AO
Anti-Aliasing Off FXAA MSAA 4x FXAA FXAA

 

 

Our custom preset is comparable to medium preset but with much better performance. Ultra looks better and performs better than high preset, probably due to SSAO+ and MSAA 4x being implemented on high preset while HBAO+ and only FXAA on ultra. We tested on DirectX 11 and V-Sync was turned off on all presets during our testing.

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