Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - Graphics cards benchmarks and system requirements
Although Assault on Dark Athena won't be released before April, PC Games Hardware already ran benchmarks with nine graphics cards. The system requirements of the game have also been revealed.
Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - Introduction
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is scheduled for release in North America on April 7 while it will hit the European markets on April 24. PC Games Hardware already got a Review Code that is, according to publisher Atari, a Release Candidate. Thus the version is almost final and in all likelihood there are won't be differences in performance to the retail version - so our results should be identical to those of the final version.
Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - System requirements
Operating system: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium D 805 or AMD Athlon X2 3800+
RAM: 1 GiByte (2 GiByte for Vista)
Graphics card: Ati Radeon HD 2600 XT or Nvidia Geforce 6800 Ultra
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible soundcard
Hard Drive: 11 GByte free space
DVD: 6x speed or better
Multiplayer: Broadband connection
Input: Keyboard, mouse or dual analog controller
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 5200+
RAM 2 GiByte
Graphics card: Ati Radeon HD 3850 or Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT or better
Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - Test system
During our first test we recognized that Assault on Dark Athena receives big benefit from triple- or quad-core CPUs - the 3.6 GHz E8500 which we usually use is used to the max and becomes a limiting factor. Therefore we used a QX9770 at the same clock speed for our benchmarks. We will deliver a CPU review that checks the processor performance as soon as possible. The graphics cards are a selection of popular devices.
Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - Benchmarks
As you can see in the charts below, Assault on Dark Athena is currently favoring Radeon graphics cards - a lot. Without FSAA/AF even the old HD 3870 beats the GTX 285 and at 1,680 x 1,050 with 4x MSAA/16:1 AF the HD 4850 beats a GTX 260-216. At 1,920 x 1,200 with 4x MSAA/16:1 AF the competitors are arranged in an order one might expect. Nevertheless the HD 4870/1G is on the same level as the GTX 285 and the HD 4850 beats the recently released Geforce GTS 250 by almost 30 percent. It is also interesting to see that the GTX 200 cards are doing much better compared to the G92/G80 based cards.
Why the Radeons are doing so extremely well can only be speculated about at the moment. On the one hand it seems like Assault on Dark Athena has affinity for Arithmetic power - a plus for Radeons. On the other hand the developing platform of Escape from Butcher Bay had been the Xbox 360. The graphics processor of the console, the Xenos, is similar to current Radeon-HD models - so optimizations for this chip should also affect the RV770 and the other Radeon graphics chips. In matters of visual quality we didn't see any differences between AMD and Nvida graphics cards (see the gallery for comparative screensots). Another possibility for the good Radeon results is that Ati already optimized the drivers while Nvidia still has to do that.
Conclusion: AMD's Radeon HDs are currently beating the Geforce competition with ease, but nevertheless Assault on Dark Athena is running quite smooth on Nvidia cards at 1,680 x 1,050 - not until a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 the Geforces of the series 8/9 drop below 30 fps.