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Aliens: Colonial Marines - PC performance graphics benchmarks of Graphics Cards


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release year: 2013
Genre: Action
developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: SEGA

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Aliens: Colonial Marines is a tactical first-person shooter set in the Aliens universe, developed by Gearbox Software for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, WiiU and Microsoft Windows.  

The action takes place 16 weeks after the death of Ellen Ripley. The plot begins at the moment when a team of four paratroopers arrives on the ship Sulaco, from which Ripley was automatically evacuated in an escape capsule at the beginning of the film Alien 3. The task of the squad is to investigate the details of the incident that happened there. In addition to Sulaco, players will visit the planet LV-426.


This subsection of our review highlights the main graphical aspects of this game. Particular attention is paid to the version of the graphics engine used, the version of the API used, graphic settings and the quality of development of the main visual aspects.

Supported OS and graphics API

Aliens: Colonial Marines is supported on major Windows operating systems, which include Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Other operating systems are not currently supported by developers and are unlikely to receive support. 

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The priority and main graphics API for the multiplayer game Aliens: Colonial Marines is DirectX 9. The game is distributed through the digital game sales service Steam.

Game engine 

Aliens: Colonial Marines is based on the Red Ring engine, which in turn is an improved Unreal Engine 3 with a new renderer. U was developed taking into account personal computers using modern rendering systems (DirectX 9/10 and OpenGL 2/3), and next-generation consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360). Due to the widespread use of multiprocessor systems, the engine uses two parallel main threads - the main thread (responsible primarily for gameplay) and the rendering thread.

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In addition to the two main threads, secondary threads can be called, which perform one-time tasks. There is now support for multi-threaded dynamic data loading (streaming), for example, loading a “location” directly while moving around it in order to save resources.

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The updated graphics engine supports most modern technologies, including HDR, per-pixel lighting, dynamic shadows, shader model 4, geometry shaders. The graphics pipeline itself was transferred to the control of shaders. The Karma physical subsystem was abandoned in favor of another one called PhysX from NVIDIA. Later, NVIDIA released a set of additional libraries for the game, allowing you to use all the capabilities of the physical system (such as the “liquid” or fabric effect). The FaceFX mechanism is responsible for the animation of the characters' faces.

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Updated EAX version to 5th. Added SpeedTree support for tree generation. The emphasis was placed on additive geometry, but support for subtractive geometry was not abandoned. The disadvantage of subtractive geometry is primarily the much longer lighting calculation. A new UnrealEd editor has been introduced, rewritten using wxWidgets.

Advanced Game Settings

Aliens: Colonial Marines has a fairly narrow range of graphical settings. Most of the settings relate to changing the detail of the surrounding world.

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Below we have provided screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium, and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Low quality settings 
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Medium quality settings

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High quality settings  

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 Maximum quality settings

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As we can see, the difference in the picture between different graphics settings is very insignificant. Only upon closer examination can you see the difference. 

General visual design and game physics

Aliens: Colonial Marines is a multi-platform project, and the development process was very long, because the game was originally announced almost a decade ago. As a result, we have what we received during the release - not a technological product by modern standards.

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Despite all the graphical shortcomings, which most users have already been able to notice and express their indignation, some advantages can also be highlighted. Thus, the PC version looks much more attractive than the console versions, so the choice of platform when purchasing Aliens: Colonial Marines is obvious.

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Secondly, the game has a very consistent atmosphere of familiar films, which will be appreciated by fans of similar films. And thirdly, in some places the picture looks very attractive. So you shouldn't judge the game from the first moments of the game - starting from the second chapter. Locations in Aliens: Colonial Marines are becoming much more interesting.

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So it turns out that those who expected from the game something super-revolutionary in terms of gameplay and graphics will be very disappointed, but those who expected a worthy game project from the “Aliens” series will fully meet their expectations. Next, we will move directly to gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware.


Test configuration

test stands

Test bench No. 1 based on the Intel Socket 2 platform011

Test bench No. 2 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test bench No. 3 based on the Intel Socket 1366 platform

Test bench No. 4 based on the Intel Socket 115 platform6

Test bench No. 5 based on the AMD Soket AM platform3

Test bench No. 6 based on the AMD Soket AM3 platform

Test bench No. 7 based on the AMD Soket AM platform2

Test bench No. 8 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test bench No. 9 based on the AMD Soket AM3 platform

Test bench No. 10 based on the AMD Soket AM3 platform+

Multimedia equipment

3D monitor LG W2363D

Monitor LG E2750

Dell U3010 monitor product provided by the company AMD

3D Vision Kit product provided by the company Nvidia

Software configuration

Operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 SP1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 313.95

AMD Catalyst 13.2 beta 5

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v2.3.1

GPU test

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality by the program MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. The average FPS was taken as a performance indicator. Below is a video of a test segment of video cards: 

Our video cards were tested at separate screen sizes of 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Aliens: Colonial Marines. Multi-chip configurations from NVIDIA and AMD worked without problems and showed excellent scalability. The frame limit has been disabled in the settings configuration file. At standard resolution, the performance of video cards is limited by the CPU.

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080

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At a resolution of 1920x1080 at maximum settings, the optimal FPS indicator was shown by video cards of the Radeon HD 5750 level or GeForce GTS 450

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600 

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At a resolution of 2560x1600 at maximum settings, an acceptable FPS indicator was shown by video cards of the Radeon HD 5750 level or GeForce GTS 450The optimal video cards will be Radeon HD 5770 or GEFORCE GTX 650 and higher.

VRAM test

memory GPU

Testing of video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the program MSI Afterburner. The indicator was based on results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA with separate screen sizes 1680x1050, 1920x1080 and 2560x1600.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings 

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The recommended amount of video memory usage for this game is about 640 MB for basic graphics quality settings. For ultra permissions you will need to have 1024 MB. On NVIDIA video cards, video memory consumption is significantly higher than on AMD.

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 15 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of video cards for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum graphics quality settings. Below is a video of a test segment for processors:   

Testing at minimum quality settings 1920x1080

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 Aliens: Colonial Marines can only effectively use 2 processor cores. To be honest, the optimization in terms of processor dependence was a little disappointing...

RAM test


Testing of the RAM consumed by the game was carried out by monitoring directly through the Windows task manager. The test was carried out on the basic configuration of Core i 7 3930K@4.8 GHz with 8GB DDR3 2400 MGz pre-installed memory.

Testing at various quality settings

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As we can see, with various basic quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in Aliens: Colonial Marines is at the level of 400-650 megabytes.

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Rate the test  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 94% [150 vote(s)]

Rate the graphics  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 44% [166 vote(s)]

Evaluate optimization  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 63% [159 vote(s)]

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Comments (35)

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

19.03.2013 вышел огромный 4-гигабайтный патч для ACM.<br /><br />Aliens: Colonial Marines<br />Особенности v | Update 1:<br />Глобальное:<br /><br />Повышено разрешение текстур.<br />Различные визуальные улучшения.<br />Добавлено сглаживание мыши в опции меню.<br />Исправлены вылеты, связанные с доставанием датчика движения.<br />Добавлены дополнительные safeguards для лучшей сохранности данных о прохождении.<br />Исправлен баг, когда уровень игрока отображался неверно при его выходе из группы.<br />Проработаны сценарии, где игроки могли появляться без оружия.<br />Изменения для предотвращения обрезки звуков на протяжении кат-сцен и анимации при завершении миссии.<br />Исправлен баг анимации смерти Xeno, когда неверно просчитывался момент импульса смертельного удара.<br />Анимация Smart Gun теперь правильно отслеживает цели.<br />Проработаны некоторые локации, где Xenos могли демонстрировать беспорядочную анимацию.<br />Увеличен радиус освещения для фонаря на плече игрока.<br />Настроенная помощь прицеливания для лучшей совместимости с разными методами управления.<br />Проработан баг, вызывающий, при некоторых обстоятельствах, неработоспособность возрождения игрока в кооперативном режиме.<br />Проработаны баги неправильного спауна игроков.<br />Исправлен баг невидимости солдатов.<br />Проработаны несколько локаций, где игроки могли выходить или падать за пределы карты.<br />Проработан огнемет Рипли (в бонусном контенте), который мог самопроизвольно срабатывать без нажатия.<br />Исправлены проблемы неверного отображения текста локализации.<br />Проработаны моменты, когда патроны к оружию не allгда корректно подсвечивались.<br />Глобальные изменения пользовательского интерфейса (UI).<br />Разнообразные баг-фиксы.<br /><br />Кампания:<br /><br />Улучшен вражеский интеллект и ИИ союзников, теперь больше агрессии и реакции.<br />Модифицирована сложность кампании, чтобы соответствовать улучшенному реагированию ИИ.<br />Улучшено обнаружение столкновения с врагами относительно дверей и Power Loader.<br />Рассмотрены некоторые моменты, вызывающие неправильные деформации (warping) для кооперативных игроков.<br />Различные улучшения локаций, где NPC не allгда грамотно ориентировались.<br />Игроки теперь не истекают кровью моментально при спуске в Power Loader.<br /><br />Versus:<br /><br />Исправлены моменты, которые могли вызвать неверные результаты статистики.<br />Проработан спаун в локации при загрузке новых карт.<br />Новая кастомизация внешности для Чужих.<br />Команды в мультиплеере теперь будут корректно автобалансироваться между раундами.<br />Увеличена длительность Lurker Pounce Challenge “Cat-Like Reflexes” с 10 до 20 секунд.<br />Исправлен недуг, когда несколько мультиплеерных матчей не открывались для некоторых игроков.<br /><br />Из личных наблюдений - теперь игра на полном максимуме жрёт в разрешении 1920x1080 до гигабайта видеопамяти на картах Radeon (пока что видел максимально 990MB в Afterburner'е), поприятнее стали текстуры, взрывы, освещение.

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&;v=qJSCYA2oOes It's worth watching)))

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

eventsThis is the most important change in this firewood. :-) [url]http://content.foto.mail.ru/mail/vector.10/24/i-46.jpg[/ Url]

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

By the way, the 6th beta of the catalyst has been released. There is no official list of changes, but judging by the reviews, everything has become noticeably faster. Unigine Valley started running at 44.1 fps for me, but was 39.9 at extreme hd. My card is 7970 (1100/6000).

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