Hydrophobia Prophecy PC Performance Analysis

By on May 27, 2011

Hydrophobia Prophecy debuts on the PC, so it’s time to see how the HydroEngine performs with modern-days PC’s. As always, we used an overclocked Q9650 (4.2Ghz) with 4GB DDR2 and a GTX295. Our system was running Windows 7 64Bit with the latest WHQL Nvidia drivers. Unfortunately though, Nvidia hasn’t included any SLI profile. We tried to enable SLI though with a custom SLI compatibility bit, although the scaling wasn’t as good as we’d been hoping for. So if you are an SLI owner, make sure to use the ‘0x02004005′ SLI compatibility bit via Nvidia Inspector till Nvidia releases a proper one.

Hydrophobia Prophecy is both CPU and GPU bound. We run our GTX295 in Single-GPU mode to see how a single GTX275 performs and witnessed some FPS drops, especially at the underwater scenes. Our ‘simulated’ GTX275 was running always at 97%, which pretty much shows that you’ll need a powerful Single GPU card to enjoy it at 1080p with max details. When we run the game with our custom SLI bit, we saw a nice jump, although there were some places were the scaling was horrible.

Hyrophobia’s graphics can’t compete with those of Crysis 2 Don’t forget that this is a game from a small gaming studio. There are some low-res textures here and there, animations are not as polished as in most triple-A games and the facial expressions are average at best. However, the game features great particles effects and both interactivity and the water effects are top notch. Moreover, the company has already released five updates that improve its performance and fix various gameplay issues. And even though Hydrophobia uses Nvidia’s PhysX effects, all those impressive PhysX calculations are being made by the CPU. There isn’t any way to enable hardware GPU PhysX to increase the game’s performance, which is kind of sad for those owning Nvidia’s cards.

Thankfully, HydroEngine supports CPU multicores. In fact, Hydrophobia Prophecy is one of the few games that take full advantage of quadcores. The game stressed out all four of our CPU cores. We’re talking about 80-85% CPU usage guys, something we haven’t seen from a lot of PC games. This is mainly due to the fact that all those PhysX effects are calculated by the CPU and it might the only ‘PhysX CPU’ game with proper multicore support. We simulated a dualcore system by disabling two of our cores and lost 10-15fps. This is a huge performance hit and it is a fact that those with a dualcore CPU will have performance issues with this game. On the other hand, these are great news for all those quadcore owners that want to see their CPU’s being used.

All in all, HydroEngine is quite impressive for what it’s offering. We were really shocked with its CPU scaling and it’s sad that there isn’t any SLI profile for it yet. This is a game to put your quadcores to the test. Lets just hope that more developers will follow Dark Energy’s example. For an indie title, Hydrophobia Prophecy looks and performs great and you should definitely give it a shot.

Enjoy the following screenshots!
















About David Scarpitta

I am a critical guy, and love to review and give my professional opinion on just about anything. Though have a love for tech/gaming and music alongside the cinema. You can catch me consulting and developing the net any day of the week.
  • Tom

    I can’t believe this game doesn’t use GPU PhysX. Fluid simulation in particular is orders of magnitude faster on a GPU. A GTX 260 would easily handle this stuff on a single core, but since it’s all CPU PhysX you need a quad core.