The new Resident Evil 5 is now out on the PC, and included is a benchmarking section which runs though 4 areas of the game and benchmarks the framerate.

This is very useful for testing out your graphics settings for the game before actually playing.

The game is a slight departure from the previous games. It follows a similar story as RE4, being set in Africa, and the natives infected with a virus that makes them zombie like. Therefore different to the original games in the series where they were proper shuffling zombies. The gameplay however has changed from the RE style of slow paced survival horror, into a fast paced action shooter. Existing fans of survival horror might be put off of this change. RE5 now plays very similarly to Dino Crisis 2, but with infected natives instead of Dinosaurs attacking you.

Now to the settings. In the game menus there are not that many changes that can be made for the graphics. A few low/medium/high settings for shadows, texture detail etc, Anti-aliasing to 0x, 2x, 4x and 8x, resolution, and that is about it.

However there are more settings. You can access these by going to Documents/CAPCOM/RESIDENT EVIL 5/config.ini and opening it in notepad.

The settings are all quite obvious. Under CPU check how many cores are set. One should be left for rendering, and the other CPU setting should therefore be set to one below your number of cores. So for a Quad core this is 3.

If you have a 64bit OS, then you can make the game run in 64bit by changing HDR=LOW to HDR=HIGH.

And finally if you are running 2 cards in crossfire or SLI, then make sure SLI=YES is set, otherwise it will only use one card. Same if you have a dual card like the GTX295 or 4870 X2.

Finally DirectX. When you load the game it offers to start in DX10 or DX9 mode if you are running Vista/Win 7. Tomshardware contacted the developers of the game after noticing it looked identical in both DX9 and DX10 and were told from the games developers that there are no differences. However running the game in DX10 it does give a performance hit and lower FPS, so run in DX9c.

In fact, if you have an ATI card you can get some slow FPS in TEST 3 of the benchmark. With my 4870 it was running at about 115fps in the first test. 85fps in the second test, but then dropped to 35fps in the third test, and back up to 85fps in the final one. Switching to DX9c and all 4 tests run over 77fps.

So way a DX10 mode if there is actually no different on graphics effects? It is because the game supports nVidia's new Geforce 3D Vision glasses. So only gamers who own these and a Geforce card should enable DX10 to use them. It does give a big performance hit though, halving the FPS.