Danger Close and EA's Medal of Honor reboot released on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in October 2010, bringing the franchise to what is now Afghanistan after a dozen previous titles during World War II. After being a fan of posts like Medal of Honor: Airborne and Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, I was thrilled to break into the latest version and test its performance on enthusiastic hardware.
While the graphics weren't groundbreaking, the 2010 Medal of Honor looked decent, while low-end GPUs could deliver playable performance with respectable quality settings. When I look at the old benchmarks, I see that quad-core processors were a must even back then, as dual-core chips offer half the performance. After Medal of Honor got used to titles like Modern Warfare, Medal of Honor's relatively low GPU requirements weren't too shocking.
Interestingly, Medal of Honor: Warfighter seems to be defying this trend, as the recommended system specs require no less than a 3 GHz quad-core processor paired with a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950. Given these demands, we expect that the title is quite demanding in that the graphics are maxed out, and we're going to put a lot of maps past and present through their paces.
Before we go any further, it's worth noting that unlike the 2010 Medal of Honor, which used separate engines for single-player and multiplayer (Unreal Engine 3 and Frostbite), Warfighter uses DICE's Frostbite 2 engine – the same software that Battlefield 3 drives The latest military shooter only supports DirectX 10 and 11 rendering modes on the PC, which can partly explain the high-end hardware requirements.
We will test 29 DirectX 11 graphics card configurations from AMD and Nvidia in all price ranges. The latest beta drivers were used for each card. We installed an Intel Core i7-3960X in our test bench to remove CPU bottlenecks that could affect the high-end GPU values.
Just before Warfighter, both AMD and Nvidia released pre-WHQL drivers that claimed to offer improved performance and stability in a number of games. AMD in particular noticed several bug fixes, which is why we decided to use the latest beta drivers.
We used Fraps to measure the frame rates during 90 seconds of gameplay footage from Medal of Honor Warfighter's first single player level, Unintended Consequences, which includes the following description: "A simple detonation of a small cargo container goes wrong and starts a race Gang to stop a global terror network. "
The test begins at the beginning of the mission, which begins with a team of US Navy SEALs made up of mother, preacher and voodoo who immerse themselves in water to hide before the player takes control.
The mother and preacher emerge from the water and the player must eliminate enemies guarding the harbor with suppressed weapons before taking down another guard and placing a load on a truck to sabotage a black market arms deal.
We tested Medal of Honor: Warfighter at three popular resolutions for desktop displays: 1680 x 1050, 1920 x 1200, and 2560 x 1600, using the preset high and highest quality settings. Both presets were tested in DirectX 11 mode with vsync disabled.
By default, the high quality preference disables antialiasing while ambient occlusion is set to HBAO. Meanwhile, the ultra-quality preset sets the antialiasing to 4xMSAA, while the ambient occlusion is still set to HBAO.