TechSpot: Splinter Cell Conviction Performance In-depth

After years in the making, Ubisoft finally released the latest installment in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series, known as Conviction. Some of you may be wondering why we are posting our in-depth performance analysis of this game two weeks after release. As it turns out, the PC version of SC: Conviction hit shelves with so many bugs that we quickly lost count. Reviewers also took notice and complained about this, comparing it to the Xbox 360 version that has received raving scores for the most part.

The good news for us and for PC gamers is that one week after release Ubisoft released a patch that fixed many of these glaring issues. In total we tested 18 graphics card configurations using both ATI and Nvidia chips that ranged from the uber expensive models to budget-minded offerings.

Completing our arsenal of tests, we looked at CPU scaling by down-clocking a Core i7 920 to see what kind of impact this had on performance. Additionally, we have also run tests comparing the Core i5 750, Core i3 540, Core 2 Quad Q6600, Core 2 Duo E8500, Phenom II X6 1090T, Phenom II X4 965, Phenom II X2 555 and Athlon II X4 635 processors.

Read: Splinter Cell: Conviction Performance In-depth

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34 Comments

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Ubisoft make great games but I won't touch them because od their crappy DRM. I can't be constantly connected to the internet because I travel for work, which is why I play a lot of FPS in the first place. Always on connectivity requirement is a dealbreaker and Ubisoft are screwing their paying customers for it. Too bad because I like their games, but I'll stick to publishers who don't insult their fans like this. They can self-sodomize as far as I'm concerned.

brent3000 said,
DRM? No thanks...

Heck, I'm not gonna go pay a good $99.99AU for a game with crappy implemented DRM. I wonder why they just don't use Steam to authenticate their games, great to have access to the game wherever you go.

Common sense should have told them to optimize their game before releasing.
As the lower the system requirements are, the more systems can run it and the more profit it can generate.

Interesting article, I had no issues playing through the single player on my 4890.....I actually kept an average framerate around 50, with a few drops down to 30 at some points. Thats at 1920x1200 on high settings with 2x AA (in edge-detect mode) and 8x AF.

I was running 10.4a drivers though, which are newer than the official 10.4 drivers, and apparently the best ATI drivers to run SC:C on.

I always been a fan of Splinter Cell but I skip this release boycotting there DRM. I usually buy Splinter Cell support it so they can keep make them.

Strega said,
I always been a fan of Splinter Cell but I skip this release boycotting there DRM. I usually buy Splinter Cell support it so they can keep make them.

May i ask why? I bet you have a stable connection so it wont annoy you at all...

Leonick said,

May i ask why? I bet you have a stable connection so it wont annoy you at all...

Why? Because I don't agree with how they've implemented this particular DRM and I won't help support that, and considering that it's already been cracked (as well as AC2) and it does nothing but inconvenience the paying customers.

Could someone tell me what bugs? Ive played single player, coop, deniable ops and only things i can complain about is that there is not even text chat in coop (used vent anyway but there should be something in game) and the fact that my graphics card should handle a little bit more but was fine anyway...

djnv2010 said,
i found the game to be ok, just way too short

I found single player to be easy even on Realistic. This is in contrast to prior games where I couldn't finish it even on Easy.

shinji257 said,

I found single player to be easy even on Realistic. This is in contrast to prior games where I couldn't finish it even on Easy.

Yes, it is a bit easy but Denial Ops (that you can play as single player) is quite challenging.

Krpano said,
UBI, no thanks......the worst name in the game field.

No man they are one of the best. They have produced some awesome titles like AC2 and POP. They just need to optimize their games for ATI cards.

satanist said,

No man they are one of the best. They have produced some awesome titles like AC2 and POP. They just need to optimize their games for ATI cards.

I think the poster is referring to the crappy DRM that Ubi uses.

satanist said,

No man they are one of the best. They have produced some awesome titles like AC2 and POP. They just need to optimize their games for ATI cards.
Their crappy DRM won't make me buy any of their games soon.

Krpano said,
UBI, no thanks......the worst name in the game field.

Yea, the whole tom Clancy and assassins creed franchises are crap right? One of the best publishers...

As for the DRM, the only people actually complaining are pirates looking for an excuse...
Are you trying to tell me your not connected to the internet all the time anyway? 95%+ of all PC gamers have a permanent internet connection so those 95 have no reason to complain...

The only thing bad about that DRM is that while we have to be online, which can be a slight annoyance for some i guess it stopped pirates form playing 1-2 days, 1-2 weeks in the case of Assassins Creed 2...

Leonick said,

Yea, the whole tom Clancy and assassins creed franchises are crap right? One of the best publishers...

As for the DRM, the only people actually complaining are pirates looking for an excuse...
Are you trying to tell me your not connected to the internet all the time anyway? 95%+ of all PC gamers have a permanent internet connection so those 95 have no reason to complain...

The only thing bad about that DRM is that while we have to be online, which can be a slight annoyance for some i guess it stopped pirates form playing 1-2 days, 1-2 weeks in the case of Assassins Creed 2...

You are not a PC gamer are you

There have been some experiments done with the DRM by a pc gaming print mag that I buy - they found that the DRM was really problematic. In an area where your net connection is not 100% stable? Bam. Back to the last checkpoint for you.

It is intrusive and needless, and I have not bought a single Ubi game with this DRM in it. It is a shame, because you are right about them making fantastic franchises.

fobban said,
Their crappy DRM won't make me buy any of their games soon.

WRONG. The majority of gamers don't know or care about DRM and what it is. Most gamers are not geeky neowin or other such site visitors who complain about these kinds of things. The internet 'communities' who complain about these things do not make up the millions and millions of gamers out there. They make the minority. I think people here and other places like it actually overestimate the effect these things have on purchases for the majority of Game or Blockbuster customers. They simply don't care.

Leonick said,

As for the DRM, the only people actually complaining are pirates looking for an excuse...

Count me in as complaining, and no, I'm not a pirate.

"Software piracy" is a newspeak propaganda term. Piracy is a type of robbery. Robbery is a crime because a person is deprived of their property when someone else takes it by force. So, for example, "taxation" is robbery legalized by statute.

With "software piracy" the owner of the property is not being deprived of it's use. If someone pirates digital media (movie, game, music, e-book, etc.) from me, I am still able to use it. Interestingly, the "criminal" has used his/her own time and resources to make a copy of the property.

My car is parked outside right now. What if someone went up to it and through their own time and expense created an exact copy, then drove off in the copy? I have not been deprived of the use of the car. And in fact, there is no violation of Ford's intellectual property as long as said person doesn't try to compete with Ford by selling cars. It's totally legal for me to go and build a replica at my own expense of all kinds of property I see around me every day.

If you think about it rationally, the "arguments" from the old media cartels about what constitutes theft and even piracy are absurd. One of the biggest fallacies is that every bit of media that is copied would have been purchased if it had not been copied. That view makes no sense.

People who copy digital media often cast their net widely and "try" a lot of media they'd never buy. Often, for convenience issues, the best of this material is then purchased through some legitimate channel.

I don't know a lot of people who are complete leeches from the media market - and if they are then they hurt only themselves. The votes they cast every time they buy something do not influence the market to produce more of what they like.

Also, the MPAA has commercials that equate downloading a movie to stealing physical media from the video store. We know this to be an invalid argument because in the video store scenario you are stealing physical media that must be replaced to be sold. When a person copies a DVD they must provide their own media, manufacturing equipment, and labor. The original still exists and can be freely used by it's owner as it always has been previously.

Edited by Neb Okla, May 14 2010, 4:47pm : Paragraph formatting and typo correction.

Duality said,

You are not a PC gamer are you

There have been some experiments done with the DRM by a pc gaming print mag that I buy - they found that the DRM was really problematic. In an area where your net connection is not 100% stable? Bam. Back to the last checkpoint for you.

It is intrusive and needless, and I have not bought a single Ubi game with this DRM in it. It is a shame, because you are right about them making fantastic franchises.


Actually I am, ahve a 360 too but i got thise game on PC since thats where i have all the other Splinter Cell games...

And no you do not go back to you last save point, the game pause, darkens the screen and say please wait while we reconnect, as soon as that is done you can continue playing...

But as i said, any drm or anti pirate thing that keeps it out of the pirates hands for one exta day while annoying customers is stupid and this includes disc checks, and that is why i like games that have these online activations you have to do first time you run the game, love not needing the disc to play, now they just need to make that uncrackable, which unfortunately can't be done

Neb Okla said,

Count me in as complaining, and no, I'm not a pirate.

"Software piracy" is a newspeak propaganda term. Piracy is a type of robbery. Robbery is a crime because a person is deprived of their property when someone else takes it by force. So, for example, "taxation" is robbery legalized by statute.

With "software piracy" the owner of the property is not being deprived of it's use. If someone pirates digital media (movie, game, music, e-book, etc.) from me, I am still able to use it. Interestingly, the "criminal" has used his/her own time and resources to make a copy of the property.

My car is parked outside right now. What if someone went up to it and through their own time and expense created an exact copy, then drove off in the copy? I have not been deprived of the use of the car. And in fact, there is no violation of Ford's intellectual property as long as said person doesn't try to compete with Ford by selling cars. It's totally legal for me to go and build a replica at my own expense of all kinds of property I see around me every day.

If you think about it rationally, the "arguments" from the old media cartels about what constitutes theft and even piracy are absurd. One of the biggest fallacies is that every bit of media that is copied would have been purchased if it had not been copied. That view makes no sense.

People who copy digital media often cast their net widely and "try" a lot of media they'd never buy. Often, for convenience issues, the best of this material is then purchased through some legitimate channel.

I don't know a lot of people who are complete leeches from the media market - and if they are then they hurt only themselves. The votes they cast every time they buy something do not influence the market to produce more of what they like.

Also, the MPAA has commercials that equate downloading a movie to stealing physical media from the video store. We know this to be an invalid argument because in the video store scenario you are stealing physical media that must be replaced to be sold. When a person copies a DVD they must provide their own media, manufacturing equipment, and labor. The original still exists and can be freely used by it's owner as it always has been previously.

How is it not piracy? If you do software piracy you are either downloading or creating an unauthorized duplicate and therefore also stealing the product just the same. You are getting something without buying a legal license to use the product. With this the publishers nor the developers see any income from your use of the game or product.

In the computer world piracy is the unauthorized duplication of media to other individuals regardless of it's form. Downloading a game is duplicating it and therefore piracy. Note I am not referring to various digital distributors like Direct2Drive or Steam.

Now then I am not for DRM but I definitely not against it. I see it's purpose. I just wish they did it in a better way that wasn't so much at issue. I have not seen SecuROM or SafeDisc protected discs in a while since they are moving to online based authentication methods.

Edited by shinji257, May 14 2010, 4:08pm : Clarification

Neb Okla said,

Count me in as complaining, and no, I'm not a pirate.

"Software piracy" is a newspeak propaganda term. Piracy is a type of robbery. Robbery is a crime because a person is deprived of their property when someone else takes it by force. So, for example, "taxation" is robbery legalized by statute.

With "software piracy" the owner of the property is not being deprived of it's use. If someone pirates digital media (movie, game, music, e-book, etc.) from me, I am still able to use it. Interestingly, the "criminal" has used his/her own time and resources to make a copy of the property.

My car is parked outside right now. What if someone went up to it and through their own time and expense created an exact copy, then drove off in the copy? I have not been deprived of the use of the car. And in fact, there is no violation of Ford's intellectual property as long as said person doesn't try to compete with Ford by selling cars. It's totally legal for me to go and build a replica at my own expense of all kinds of property I see around me every day.

If you think about it rationally, the "arguments" from the old media cartels about what constitutes theft and even piracy are absurd. One of the biggest fallacies is that every bit of media that is copied would have been purchased if it had not been copied. That view makes no sense.

People who copy digital media often cast their net widely and "try" a lot of media they'd never buy. Often, for convenience issues, the best of this material is then purchased through some legitimate channel.

I don't know a lot of people who are complete leeches from the media market - and if they are then they hurt only themselves. The votes they cast every time they buy something do not influence the market to produce more of what they like.

Also, the MPAA has commercials that equate downloading a movie to stealing physical media from the video store. We know this to be an invalid argument because in the video store scenario you are stealing physical media that must be replaced to be sold. When a person copies a DVD they must provide their own media, manufacturing equipment, and labor. The original still exists and can be freely used by it's owner as it always has been previously.

+1

I buy all my PC games legally. However I won't buy any of the new Ubisoft games despite how good they may be because of this DRM. I am on satellite internet so my connection isn't that stable and is prone to frequent outages due to rain fade, sun spots and storms so this DRM would be problematic for me as well as other people.

Shame though because if it wasn't for this DRM, I would have likely bought these games. I guess I won't play these games ever unless Ubisoft removed this DRM, I at least hope Ubisoft will remove the DRM before taking their servers offline in a few years else many people will be left in the dark when they can no longer play their legally bought game.

I know there is a way around the DRM, I'm just not sure how stable these "unofficial" patches are and I've heard of problems with these patches. I've decided to wait and see if Ubisoft decides to officially remove the DRM someday.

Unable to edit my last comment, a five minute edit period is kind of low..

A quick note, It's rather amusing to see so many people brainwashed by big media and see drm as a necessity and as effective when any sane person knows this is just not true.

shinji257 said,

How is it not piracy? If you do software piracy you are either downloading or creating an unauthorized duplicate and therefore also stealing the product just the same. You are getting something without buying a legal license to use the product. With this the publishers nor the developers see any income from your use of the game or product.

In the computer world piracy is the unauthorized duplication of media to other individuals regardless of it's form. Downloading a game is duplicating it and therefore piracy. Note I am not referring to various digital distributors like Direct2Drive or Steam.

I thought I laid out a pretty solid explanation of why it's not "piracy". As I said, "softwae piracy" is a newspeak term.

Definition of "newspeak": http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search?q=define+newspeak&FORM=DTPDIA&qpvt=define+newspeak

Just because the media cartels made up a word, this doesn't mean it makes any sense within the framework of existing laws.

Your post seems to be a counter-assertion without an argument.

If you so higly respect made-up legal terms then I suggest you turn yourself in for "felony plurbing". That is a crime I made up just now so that when people post silly things in threads they each owe me an ounce of 99.99% pure gold. Hopefully you'll defend my made-up legal term with as much furvor as the senseless "software piracy" term made up by the media cartels.

Spirit Dave said,

WRONG. The majority of gamers don't know or care about DRM and what it is. Most gamers are not geeky neowin or other such site visitors who complain about these kinds of things. The internet 'communities' who complain about these things do not make up the millions and millions of gamers out there. They make the minority. I think people here and other places like it actually overestimate the effect these things have on purchases for the majority of Game or Blockbuster customers. They simply don't care.

they do when they run into these punishing DRMs which impact their gameplay often enough that they sign up for game forums to protest the DRm they just found out about not by what's on teh box but by trying to play the game for more than 10 minutes at a time on a less than stellar connection.
check these games' forum on the steam forums for example.
sadly people end up blaming vendors like steam or d2d for not advertising the DRM well enough,even though it's ubisoft who controls the game store page content.
i'm glad i found out out about this kind of DRM before i bought any of these games. if it weren't for legitimate gamers complaining i might not have known before hand.

fobban said,
Their crappy DRM won't make me buy any of their games soon.

If your complaining about thier DRM im willing to bet you buying wasnt how you play thier games anyways.

tablet_user said,

If your complaining about thier DRM im willing to bet you buying wasnt how you play thier games anyways.

I don't think you read this thread before posting.

treemonster said,

i'm glad i found out out about this kind of DRM before i bought any of these games. if it weren't for legitimate gamers complaining i might not have known before hand.

Good point. People copying the software for their own non-commercial use are unlikely to care about getting screwed financially - they'll just download something else.

It's the people who are being forced to pay for a "feature" that hurts their gaming experience that stand to benefit the most from such complaints.

Leonick said,

As for the DRM, the only people actually complaining are pirates

The DRM is cracked, you can even play the new Splinter Cell online for free. I would think pirates are actually enjoying this DRM because all other games you need a valid cdkey to actually play online. The only thing this DRM does is annoy paying customers.

Leonick said,

Yea, the whole tom Clancy and assassins creed franchises are crap right? One of the best publishers...

As for the DRM, the only people actually complaining are pirates looking for an excuse...
Are you trying to tell me your not connected to the internet all the time anyway? 95%+ of all PC gamers have a permanent internet connection so those 95 have no reason to complain...

The only thing bad about that DRM is that while we have to be online, which can be a slight annoyance for some i guess it stopped pirates form playing 1-2 days, 1-2 weeks in the case of Assassins Creed 2...

This isn't with UBI, but I didn't have internet for about a week and couldn't play Modern Warfare 2 in offline mode with STEAM. the MENU was completely unresponsive, let alone the game. I had that week off work of course. Just make the game work like it needs to. If people are going to pirate it, they are going to pirate. Simple as that. DRM does nothing but causes problems.

I had a problem with XP's activation at work also recently. They been working for the last 9 months and now I need to activate? Of course they wouldn't recognize the proxy info until they got into Windows, which I couldn't because I couldn't log in.

Spirit Dave said,

WRONG. The majority of gamers don't know or care about DRM and what it is. Most gamers are not geeky neowin or other such site visitors who complain about these kinds of things.

WRONG.

ANY DRM methods which inconvenience LEGAL users which include low life techniques from putting in random words from manuals to forcing them to be online throughout serve no purpose other than inconvenience their legal customers. The pirates wont suffer from this DRM and it will be cracked (if not already) in 2 seconds flat as crackers challenge themselves to beat it.

Im loosely in favour of activation but requiring a constant connection to full time to play an offline game is absurd. If anything things like this help DRIVE piracy. Ive lost track of the amount of games ive cracked (that I legally own) just to get round inconveniences such as Disk Checks.

Piracy will never be 100% stopped but theirs no excuse to inconvenience legal buyers based on the assumption those people are always going to have a working connection. I quite often game on a laptop during flights this effectively makes games like this useless. If you must crapple your games like this make it check every 30 days or so.

I'm playing this game with C2Q q6600 and 5770 ATI radeon configuration and the frame rate is not good as it should be. Patch 1.0.2 does not help much.

Wow I brought this game for the PC on release and never had any graphical issues (using a XFX 275 in SLI). Guess it was only limited to a few systems.