The mob, for once, doesn't extract a high price. Mafia II runs surprisingly well on very little hardware. However, if you want to see the game in its full glory, expect to upgrade to video cards--plural. You'll need two fairly beefy Nvidia GPUs in order to take advantage of Apex PhysX, the setting that enables destructible environments and fluid clothing for the characters.
We used the game's built-in benchmark to test performance. It can be found at the bottom of the Extras tab in the main menu. The benchmark truly pushes the game to its limits, and just about every second of it involves gunfire and explosions. The results are likely to be more taxing than the actual game and represent more of a worst-case scenario. We found that results in the mid-20s were more than playable when we went into the game.
Mafia II has a few settings, but there are only two you have to worry about if you want to reclaim performance.
The base graphics card requirements start in the GeForce 8600 class of GPUs. The GeForce 8600 GTS runs the game with surprisingly decent frame rates and graphics quality settings. Although, prepare to wander into the deep end of the pool if you want to enable Apex PhysX settings.
Mafia II requires at least a dual-core CPU to run well. After that, you won't need much more to get the game running well.
The game ran well with the required 2GB of RAM. We went ahead and tested it with 4GB and 6GB.
We put together a few sample systems to show how the game performed using real-world computers. Our slowest machine, a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo paired with a GeForce 8600 GTS, which is actually slightly better than the base required machine, ran the game well with moderate graphics quality. Our midrange system, outfitted with a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo and a GeForce 9800 GTX, took us right to the top with high-quality settings and at a resolution of 1920x1200. Our high-end system, a Core i7-980x paired with the GeForce 480 GTX, ran the game with excellent performance and had power left over for Apex PhysX and 3D Vision. System Setup:
High-End System: Intel i7-980x, Intel DX58S0, 6GB OCZ PC12800 DDR3, 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows 7 64-bit. Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 480, Forceware 258.96.Recommended System:
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.60GHz, eVGA 680SLI, 4GB Corsair XMS Memory, 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows 7 64-bit. Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX, Forceware 258.96.Minimum Requirements System:
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, eVGA 680SLI, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory , 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows 7 64-bit. Graphics Card: GeForce 8600 GTS, Nvidia ForceWare 258.96.
SettingsWandering onto the settings page, you can find a few settings to tweak, but there's only one you need to worry about, outside of Apex PhysX (which we'll discuss on the video cards page). Ambient occlusion takes a decent chunk out of frame rates, and it should be the first thing to go in your hunt for more performance. We'd look to shadows and resolution after that.
System Setup: Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, eVGA 680 SLI, 4GB DDR2, 750GB Seagate 7200.10 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows 7 64-bit. Graphics Card: GeForce 8600 GTS, Nvidia ForceWare 258.96.
Image Quality ComparisonGraphic Presets
You don't need much of a video card to run at high-quality settings. Even our heavily aged GeForce 8600 GTS, which is the base spec video card required to run the game, outputted more-than-playable frame rates.
Apex PhysX is really where the action is at for this game. The requirements are steep, but you'll be treated to debris and fluid clothing like never before. From our tests, ATI Radeon owners need not apply. Nvidia bought out Ageia, the company that pioneered PhysX, and therefore the setting is pretty much theirs. Even so, we wouldn't recommend enabling it unless you have some serious horsepower. 2KGames suggests running at least a GeForce GTX 470 at the bare minimum. They aren't lying. Apex PhysX will murder performance if you don't meet these requirements, and it still exacts a large toll even if you do.
Apex PhysX Medium Settings: GeForce GTX 260 + GeForce 9800 GTX or GeForce GTX 470
Apex PhysX High Settings: GeForce GTX 470 + GeForce 9800 GTX or GeForce GTX 480 + GeForce GTX 285
System Setup: Intel Core i7 980x, Intel DX58S0, 6GB DDR3 OCZ, 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows 7 64-bit. Graphics Drivers: Nvidia ForceWare 258.96, ATI Catalyst 10.8.
CPUOlder CPU architectures run Mafia 2 well enough, but you’ll have to watch out if the processor is on slower side. Dual-core CPUs are more than enough to run the game well, as a Core i7 980x literally offers nothing over the lowly Core i3 530. Although, that last statement deserves a caveat- once you enable Apex Physx, the Core i3 gets a solid thrashing. But at that point you’re much better off dropping in an older Nvidia video card to handle the Physx calculations than upgrading the CPU to compensate for the extra load.
Our AMD testbed continues to be on the fritz, hopefully to be remedied soon.System Setup: Above CPUs + Intel DX58S0, eVGA 680i SLI, 6GB OCZ PC3 12800 DDR3, 4GB Corsair XMS Memory DDR2, 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows 7 64-bit. Graphics Card: GeForce 480 GTX, Forceware 258.96