Test

Splinter Cell: Blacklist Low End Performance Guide

IMAGE COMPARISON AND PERFORMANCE

Texture Quality

Recommended setting – Medium

Texture Quality - Low
Texture Quality - Medium
Texture Quality - High
Texture Quality - Ultra

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 - Low
Shadow Quality - Medium
Shadow Quality - High
Shadow Quality - Ultra
Shadow Quality - Low
Shadow Quality - Medium
Shadow Quality - High
Shadow Quality - Ultra

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 - On
Parallax - Off
Parallax - On
Parallax - Off

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

 

Tessellation

Recommended setting – Off

Tessellation - Off
Tessellation - On
Tessellation - Off
Tessellation - On
Tessellation - Off
Tessellation - On

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 - Off
Texture Filtering - 2x
Texture Filtering - 4x
Texture Filtering - 8x
Texture Filtering - 16x

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 - Off
Ambient Occlusion - Field AO
Ambient Occlusion - SSAO
Ambient Occlusion - SSAO+
Ambient Occlusion - HBAO
Ambient Occlusion - HBAO+

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

Anti-Aliasing - Off
Anti-Aliasing - FXAA
Anti-Aliasing - MSAA 2x
Anti-Aliasing - MSAA 4x
Anti-Aliasing - SSAA 2x2 Grid
Anti-Aliasing - SSAA 2x2 Rotated Grid

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

DX 9
DX 11

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

 LowMediumHighUltraCustom
TextureLowMediumHighUltraMedium
ShadowLowMediumHighUltraMedium
ParallaxOffOnOnOnOn
TessellationOffOffOffOnOff
Texture FilteringOff2x4x16x8x
Dynamic Ambient OcclusionField AOField AO & SSAOField AO & SSAO+Field AO & HBAO+Field AO
Anti-AliasingOffFXAAMSAA 4xFXAAFXAA
Preset - Low
Preset - Medium
Preset - High
Preset - Ultra
Preset - Custom

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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