BioShock Infinite VGA Graphics Benchmark performance test

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Image Quality Modes

The Plot (Wiki)

The events of the game take place in 1912. The player assumes the identity of Booker DeWitt, a disgraced former agent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. He had witnessed events at the Battle of Wounded Knee that changed him, leading to excessive drinking and gambling; he was subsequently dismissed for behavior beyond the acceptable bounds of the Agency. He is hired by mysterious individuals, aware of Columbia's location, and tasked to infiltrate the air-city and rescue a young woman named Elizabeth, who has been held aboard the air-city for the last twelve years. Completing the task and returning Elizabeth to New York City would clear Booker of "old debts", but this would be his last chance to clear them.

Booker is taken by boat to an island lighthouse near Maine that houses a rocket silo, from which he is taken to Columbia. His arrival there is initially quiet; he is baptized by the population before allowed to explore the city. However, while at a carnival, one citizen notices a tattoo on Booker's wrist, with the letters "AD", a sign of a "false shephard" that will bring Comstock's downfall by taking away his "lamb", purportedly Elizabeth. Booker becomes a target of Comstock's forces from this discovery, and he is forced into the conflict of the city while still seeking Elizabeth. Though Booker finds Elizabeth easily enough, he quickly discovers that Elizabeth is central to the civil war raging in the city, her rescue being the start of the chain of events that ultimately lead to Columbia's down-fall.

Elizabeth, when first rescued, is meek and timid, and only just coming to grasp her abilities with her powers, but as she is escorted by Booker, becomes bolder and more confident, shown through both physical appearance and her changes in outfit. Each faction seeks to use Elizabeth to turn the tide of the conflict in their favor; the Founders believe Elizabeth's powers can help end the conflict and place them back in control, while the Vox Populi would rather kill Elizabeth than allow the Founders to get their hands on her, believing a prophecy that if Elizabeth falls, so does Columbia. Booker and Elizabeth are forced to place their trust in one another in order to escape. Elizabeth also seeks to understand the powers that she has been given, believing Comstock to be responsible, and refuses to leave Columbia until she learns the truth. Booker comes to fear the power that Elizabeth possesses; a scene during one of the game's preview trailers shows Booker to be more afraid of Elizabeth than God. To complicate matters, the pair is chased by Songbird, a large, robotic bird-like creature who had been Elizabeth's friend and warden over the last twelve years of her imprisonment. Songbird was designed by its creator to feel betrayal should Elizabeth escape, comparable to an abusive spouse, and Elizabeth notes she "would rather be killed than be recaptured by Songbird."


Elizabeth opens a tear from Columbia in 1912 to Paris circa 1983; the theater marquee is announcing the showing of, in French, Revenge of the Jedi. The area of this setting came from art assets that Irrational had developed for another scrapped project.In addition to the internal strife, Columbia is ravaged by tears in the fabric of space-time.The game begins with a quote from a fictional work Barriers to Trans-dimensional Travel purportly published in 1889. A strange shimmering effect as seen by Booker causes momentary changes to pictures, banners, and people, representing the nearby presence of a tear; in one example, Booker, while watching a Founder give a speech, experiences a brief shimmer where a patriotic button on the Founder's jacket briefly changes to that of the hammer and sickle associated with Communism. The tears have brought anachronistic elements into the Columbia of 1912; for example, gameplay demo footage features a record playing a woman singing Tears for Fears' 1985 song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"; a later press reveal included similar covers of 1933's "Goodnight, Irene", 1966's "God Only Knows", and 1983's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun".

Visual Image Quality

The PC version of the game will require a DirectX 10 or 11 compatible video card and op erating system. Irrational revealed the PC system requirements for BioShock Infinite. BioShock Infinite will support widescreen gaming, including “horizontal plus” widescreen support and multi-monitor gaming with AMD Eyefinity, NVIDIA Surround, and whoop you haven't heard this one in a while .. Matrox TripleHead2Go. You’ll also have separate controls for aspect ratio, resolution, and display mode (fullscreen, windowed, and fullscreen windowed).

Infinite includes various  graphics presets, from “Very Low” to “Ultra,” providing a wide range of quality-versus-performance options. If you like to you can tweak those further and switch to a Custom configuration, which gives you control over anti-aliasing, texture detail, texture filtering, dynamic shadows, post-processing, light shafts, ambient occlusion, and object level of detail. Many of these options have setting levels that are only available under DX11. Bioshock Infinite also includes Diffusion Depth of Detail and FOV adjustment controls.

Minimum Specs

  • OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHZ
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Hard Drive: 20 GB free
  • Video Card: DirectX10 Compatible ATI Radeon 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT / Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics
  • Video Card Memory: 512 MB
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit
  • Processor: Quad Core Processor
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Hard Drive: 30 GB free
  • Video Card: DirectX11 Compatible, ATI Radeon 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
  • Video Card Memory: 1024 MB
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

So on the following two pages I want to show you a couple of in-game screenshots and basically focus on actual in-game quality settings that we use and which you can change.

We always have a peek as well in-between AMD and NVIDIA's quality differences e.g. in-between AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. Honestly, image quality these days for both companies is near equal. You can zoom in and blow up the still screenshots and detect minor differences if you look with a very professional eye as yes -- both companies do optimize games for better performance. We'll leave that as is as there is much more to see quality wise with the in-game modes. Why should you change or alter internal visual quality modes? Well for one simple reason, performance .. if you have a lower grade graphics card and would like to plat in Full HD then changes are pretty slim your graphics card would be fast enough. Throttling down towards a lower image quality mode can significantly boost your performance, at the cost of visual quality though.  

The game basically has several quality modes including : LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH, ULTRA. 


Above a quick example, you can see a GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST at work with several image quality settings we are able to maintain a constant 45 FPS even in Ultra quality mode, this is with FXAA enabled in DX11. Once you start using other AA modes, performance will change obviously .

You'll notice the following:

GTX 650 Ti Boost Perf %
Ultra + DDOF 100%
Ultra 115%
High 125%
Medium 145%
Low 157%

If you assume that 100% performance is Ultra Quality mode with Diffusion Depth of Detail then flicking down to normal ultra mode already increases perf with 15%. Selecting Medium quality will already increase your performance with 45% ! But obviously at the cost of eye candy. Bioshock will apply FXAA. FXAA might be a little bit of an odd choice, but the memory usage is very low and it offers the best performance which you'll need with quality settings and mainstream graphics cards. It's really cheap AA, though not the best AA mode we agree as the downside of FXAA, it can blur textures a tiny bit, some might find that annoying.  

What you are going to notice is that the game enigne (based on Unreal Engine 3.0) is not at all that demanding, so we'll perform all our tests with the very best image quality settings, Ultra + DDOF enabled.

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