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Assassins Creed: Brotherhood PC Performance Analysis
The PC version of Assassins Creed: Brotherhood is due out in 22 March, 2011 and we had the chance to try a beta version of it. Given the fact that the PC version is delayed almost 6 months from its console release, it’s time to see if Ubisoft optimized the engine for the PC and how it performs. And are there any noteworthy additions?
We are sure there are some gamers out there with 3D-ready setups that would like to know how well the 3D Vision implementation is. Although the beta supports 3D Vision, we didn’t give it a try. You can expect however a 40-50% performance hit if you enable it. There isn’t also any SLI profile for this game. We tried to enable it by adding the SLI compatibility flag of Assassins Creed 2, but the SLI scaling wasn’t as good as we’d hoped to. Here is hoping that Nvidia will release a proper SLI profile with better scaling in the next ForceWare drivers.
One of the biggest issues of Assassins Creed 2 was its performance issues and its inability to take advantage of quadcores. It supported them but still, the performance gains were minor to say the least and there were some crashing issues. So we are happy to report that Ubisoft addressed those issues. Assassins Creed: Brotherhood takes full advantage of quadcores as you can see bellow. As a result of this, the game runs way better than its prequel. For instance, outside Ezio’s villa in Assassins Creed 2, we were getting 25fps at 1080p with max details. In Brotherhood, we’re getting 44fps. We basically have an 80% boost. These are remarkable news for all of us. You may need a powerful quadcore (Brotherhood and generally the entire Assassins Creed series seem to love Intel’s I7 processors) to run it ideally, but still the engine is not as bugged as it was in Assassins Creed 2.
We used a Q9650 at 4.2Ghz with 4GB DDR2 and a GTX295. Performance was averaging around 40-100fps. In crowded places, we were getting 40-50fps with 50-60% GPU usage in both of our cores. We won’t draw any early conclusions yet, as there isn’t any proper SLI profile. It’s pretty much clear though that Brotherhood is a CPU bound game. We are sure however that Ubisoft could optimize it even more as the CPU usage is way high for a game like Assassins Creed.
There are also some minor differences between the PC and the consoles version. The SSAO level is stronger in the PC version and both shadow maps and draw distance are enhanced to higher levels. Those enhancements are welcomed but they don’t justify the 6 months delay. We were hoping for better textures, especially for the leaves and grass but Ubisoft didn’t replace them. Moreover, there seems to be a weird mouse acceleration that can’t be turned off. This will be a major issue and we hope that Ubisoft will fix it before release. And at last, there are proper, PC button indications for your actions.
All in all, the PC version of Assassins Creed: Brotherhood is shaping up to be quite interesting. With proper quadcore support, better performance, better graphics (albeit not as much as we’d hope to) and proper PC button indications, Ubisoft tries to impress and earn the trust of their PC fans. Is it though too little, too late? Only time will tell. Enjoy the following screenshots!