TechSpot: Dragon Age II GPU & CPU Performance Test

Fans of the original game are no doubt excited about the recent release of Dragon Age II. A spiritual successor to the Baldur's Gate series, Dragon Age: Origins was the first game of its franchise. Unlike many others, BioWare was wildly successful in bringing this role-playing game to realization as a true multi-platform endeavor, spanning releases on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac, and of course, the PC.

Given our ability to fit out PCs with vastly superior hardware, it pays off when playing Dragon Age II. Right off the bat BioWare released a free high-resolution texture pack download designed exclusively for the PC version. Just as important, the game exclusively supports DirectX 11 on the PC providing cutting edge rendering features such as tessellation, additional dynamic lighting, depth of field and ambient occlusion (SSAO). When compared to DX9 mode, Dragon Age II looks considerably better using the more advanced renderer.

With this in mind, TechSpot has solely focused on DirectX 11 performance testing over a dozen graphics cards capable of rendering Dragon Age II on all its visual glory. In addition they have tested a range of CPUs to see what kind of processor gamers are going to require to take full advantage of Dragon Age II.

Read: Dragon Age II GPU & CPU Performance Test

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot.

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i remember reading a post somewhere that stuttering is due to DX11, drop it down to DX9 in the config and you are good to go.
it fixed the stuttering problems on my machine.

HD5770 hitched to a Phenom II X6 with 8GB RAM runs the game fine, but I find it to be a step back in terms of game play. I would give the game a C+, definitely not up to the standards of its predecessor.

Runs fine but the game itself feels confined and repetitive. I don't know how it got so high review scores as it's not nearly as fun.

imachip said,
Runs fine but the game itself feels confined and repetitive. I don't know how it got so high review scores as it's not nearly as fun.

It does make use of the same places over and over, but the quests, the character plots and involvement, etc are great. Conversations seem natural (depends on who you bring in the party), decision making, levelling, etc. I like it

imachip said,
I don't know how it got so high review scores as it's not nearly as fun.

Smell the payola. When the major online sites are raving incessantly about something that virtually every user is screaming bloody murder about (re: compare metacritics pro reviews vs. user reviews, you know who's been bought off (with cash, ad dollars, or free product) and who just got ripped off because of it. 8(

Runs fine with GTX 460 on 1920x1080 but only for High Settings. On Very High, it stutters.
Running on the NVIDIA beta driver

Still quite happy with playing it on High

With the latest Nvidia beta drivers, the game runs very well on my crappy GTX260 at 1440x900 with high textures.

I turned off AA and AF though for increased performance.

it seems clearly optimized for Ati cards, with a GTX460 in Very High the game slows to a crawl, even without the high quality textures

I found out that my GTX460 with 768mb of memory can run it quite well with High settings and HQ textures, SSAO should be deactivated for better performance, I hardly noticed any difference, this running in 1920x1080

It's the nvidia GPUs that are affected.
They perform poorly and beside that the game crashes too....
Apparently Bioware is working on it, I just hope they come up with patch soon...

Game plays a little jerky at times for me on my aging GeForce 8800GT in my Q6600 box running at "Medium" and at 1680x1050. I might lower the resolution some. Not really compelled to upgrade my Windows box just yet... hope to still get a year or two out of it.

Shadrack said,
Game plays a little jerky at times for me on my aging GeForce 8800GT in my Q6600 box running at "Medium" and at 1680x1050. I might lower the resolution some. Not really compelled to upgrade my Windows box just yet... hope to still get a year or two out of it.

Good to know.. I got a similar setup exept with the 8800 GTX so hopefully it will be smooth on my system..

Lachlan said,

Good to know.. I got a similar setup exept with the 8800 GTX so hopefully it will be smooth on my system..

Whats funny is it is only jerky when I'm running through towns and stuff. Combat is very smooth.

Shadrack said,
Game plays a little jerky at times for me on my aging GeForce 8800GT in my Q6600 box running at "Medium" and at 1680x1050. I might lower the resolution some. Not really compelled to upgrade my Windows box just yet... hope to still get a year or two out of it.

Thanx for that, I have the same card. Not compelled to upgrade either =)

Running at nearly max settings (1440x900, 4x AA, rest at max) on a HD5770 at acceptable framerates. It stutters sometimes, but it's mostly because of my crappy CPU (Core2 E6600) and slow RAM (DDR2-533Mhz)

floopy said,
Running at nearly max settings (1440x900, 4x AA, rest at max) on a HD5770 at acceptable framerates. It stutters sometimes, but it's mostly because of my crappy CPU (Core2 E6600) and slow RAM (DDR2-533Mhz)

upgrade that ram mann.. get some 1066 Mhz in there and you will notice a difference..

Lachlan said,

get some 1066 Mhz in there and you will notice a difference..

No, no you won't. The problems with DA2 are because it was optimized for ATI not Nvidia, so it's going to take a patch or two (in drivers and the game) before nVidia users see proper frame rates.

excalpius said,

No, no you won't. The problems with DA2 are because it was optimized for ATI not Nvidia, so it's going to take a patch or two (in drivers and the game) before nVidia users see proper frame rates.

Yeah I need to agree with excal here, I know guys that have 5000 dollar rigs and still are getting stuttering. I myself have a beefy machine and it stutters big time. Bioware admins on there forums for first few days of launch were deleting posts just as fast as they can to hide the fact. There is no talk about any patch and zero communication like in the past.

It's a shame this game runs like crap on my GTX570 and I am barely at 50% GPU utilization maxed out. Not sure who to blame between Bioware/Nvidia

NeoandGeo said,
It's a shame this game runs like crap on my GTX570 and I am barely at 50% GPU utilization maxed out. Not sure who to blame between Bioware/Nvidia

This game is a crap and I'm totaly disappointed. First Dragon Age was a great game. Now I'm waiting for the Witcher 2.