Before we move onwards into the conclusion it is handy to know how much graphics memory the game requires in a preferred resolution. So I had a peek at four resolutions versus our default (HIGH) quality settings with 2xMSAA / FXAA:
You'll quickly notice 2GB graphics card are sufficient and thus the generic rule of thumb here for maximum quality mode with complex MSAA levels at 2 AA samples. So a graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory is really recommended. Should you have less available and run into performance issues, the easiest way out preventing frames from being swapped back and forth in that framebuffer is to select medium quality settings.
Now we switch in-between 0xAA / 2xAA and the image quality modes (LOW/MEDIUM/HIGH and ULTRA). The above results are all measured at 1920x1200 (!). As you can see we are just over 1 GB of graphics memory, even in ULTRA mode.
Cards with less than 1 GB framebuffer would need medium quality settings, and cards with 2GB or more can select HIGH and Ultra quality modes. But there is another factor, what happens when we increase AA modes ?:
Well, again we see that even with 8xMSAA at HIGH quality in 1920x1200 your graphics memory still doesn't pass 1.5 GB. Long story short, make sure you have a graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory when using HIGH or Ultra image quality modes.
Final Words & Conclusion
Hitman Absolution is a great game in the sense of the overall experience if you like the genre of course. The game has just been released (today) as I write this little article, with mixed reviews alright. Anyhow, from our hardware perspective the updated game rendering engine is definitely nice and yeah, it's just good quality graphics .. not perfect though.
What surprised me is that the engine really is taxing, hence it default towards medium quality settings. Well as the charts have shown, HIGH quality with 2xAA and FXAA enabled will deliver a good gaming framerate up-to 1920x1200 on most modern mainstream graphics cards with 2 GB or more memory.
The game really is an AMD flavored title as it is part of the gaming evolved program. That shows as overall (especially the 7800/7900 series) are a hint faster opposed to the green competition. We see this often with game branded titles. Hey it works out for AMD and the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture - it pays off. At a 1920x1200 monitor resolution even the 7800 series manages excellent. The fun thing about the new game engine however is that you can play around with many AA modes now and yeah the Radeons with their large framebuffers are just very capable.
Single GPU wise the winner today is the Radeon HD 7970, followed by the GeForce GTX 680.
So guys there you have it. Pretty much all modern graphics cards will run the game at Full HD extraordinary well. For mid-range the 7800 series from AMD and the GTX 660 series from NVIDIA will offer nice value for money. There is just no need to drop down in images quality modes too massively and heck, that's where we as PC gamers needs to be. We do not like to forfeit in quality.
If you need a little more boom-boom-pow then the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is great with the Radeon HD 7950 Boost editions being very price competitive as well -- single GPU wise.
The last bit I wanted to point out, all cards used today are reference cards with reference clocks. As you guys know AIC/AIB partners mostly offer factory overclocked or factory faster clocked products. That by itself can shift performance per card or brand upwards another 10% -- just so that you guys know okay ?
Also mind you that the Radeon cards all have been tested with the Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 driver (download here) and the GeForce cards with the new 310.61 Beta driver (download here).
We hope you enjoyed this selection of measurements.
Hitman Absolution VGA Graphics performance review We review Hitman Absolution VGA Graphics benchmark performance and test roughly 20 graphics cards with it. The new and massively popular title is a great looking game. But how will it perform on a selection of different graphics cards ?