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Batman Arkham Knight: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors

BASIC INFORMATION ON THE GAME

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Release Year : 2015
Genre : Action Adventure
Developer : Rocksteady
Publisher : Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

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BATMAN™: Arkham Knight marks the end of Rocksteady Studios' acclaimed Arkham trilogy of games. The game was created specifically for next generation platforms, and it features a unique version of the Batmobile. The appearance of this amazing machine has been waiting for a very long time. It is designed to organically complement the game mechanics and make the player really feel like Batman - now he can both soar over the city and rush through its streets with the wind. Which is very handy, because Gotham has never been in danger of such a magnitude - the shock finale of the series brings Batman to the Scarecrow, who returned to unite a gang of supervillains against him and finally deal with him.

THE GRAFICAL PART

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

Supported OS and graphics API

Batman Arkham Knight is supported on major Windows operating systems, which include Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Other operating systems are not currently supported by the developers and will not be supported. 

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The priority and primary graphics API for Batman Arkham Knight is DX11  

Game engine 

Batman Arkham Knight is based on the Unreal Engine 3.5 game engine. UE3 was designed with personal computers using modern rendering systems (DirectX 9/11 and OpenGL 2/3) and current generation consoles in mind. Due to the widespread use of multiprocessor systems, the engine uses two parallel main threads - the main thread (responsible mainly for the game process) 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. Support for multi-threaded dynamic data loading (streaming) has appeared, for example, loading a “location” directly when moving around it in order to save resources. The updated graphics engine supports most modern technologies, including HDR, per-pixel lighting, dynamic shadows, shader model 4, geometry shaders.

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The graphics pipeline itself was transferred under the control of shaders. The physical subsystem Karma was abandoned in favor of another called PhysX from NVIDIA. Later, NVIDIA released a set of additional libraries for the game, allowing you to use all the features of the physical system (such as the effect of "fluid" or tissue). The FaceFX mechanism is responsible for the animation of the faces of the characters.

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

 

Advanced game settings

 

Oddly enough, but the graphic settings in Batman Arkham Knight are incredibly small. Of the entire Batman series, this is the least we've seen...

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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. 

Various quality modes
bottom 1 bottom 2
sr 1 sr 2
max 1 max 2

The difference between the settings is almost imperceptible.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K
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hd 2 4k2

Batman Arkham Knight looks pretty good in 4K

 

Comparison of anti-aliasing modes

 

aa off aa on

Anti-aliasing in the game virtually eliminates all "surface roughness".

General visual design and game physics

Batman Arkham Knight has a pretty good picture, but nothing more. Unreal Engine 3.5 is already quite old, and the developers are still squeezing the latest juices out of this engine, trying to raise the graphics to a new level of quality every time. To some extent, they succeed, but still, they wanted much better ...

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The game is optimized for GeForce GTX processors and supports a number of NVIDIA GameWorks technologies: NVIDIA Turbulence, PhysX Particles, PhysX Destruction, PhysX Clothing and more. Smoke and fog react to character movements in fight scenes, including when boxes are thrown or part of the floor explodes.

 Hedges, railings and trees are destroyed by collisions with the Batmobile. Sheets of paper shatter when Batman gives a thrashing to the villains. The raindrops interact realistically with Batman and his cape.

Next, we will go directly to the gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware.  

TEST PART

Test configuration

test stands

Benchmark #1 based on the Intel Socket 2011 v3

Testbed #2 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform

Test stand #3 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test Bench #4 Based on AMD Socket AM3+ Platform

Testbed #5 based on the Intel Socket 1150 platform  

multimedia equipment

Dell U3010 Monitor 

Monitor  ASUS PQ321QE

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 353.30

AMD Catalyst 15.6

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner 4.1

FRAPS

GPU test

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

Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Batman Arkham Knight, with and without PhysX effects enabled. Note that on AMD video cards and when physics is accelerated by the CPU, the PhysX settings are not available.

AMD CrossFireX is currently not supported by the game,  while SLI has very little scalability. The game has an FPS limit of 30 frames, but this lock is easily removed in the game config. In the PhysX tests   , for clarity, on NVIDIA video cards, solutions based on the GTX 980 Ti were presented, where the GTX 980 was used as a physical accelerator.  The game has hardware-specific protection, so we had to use several copies of the game for the test.  2 GB solutions allow you to play only at 1920x1080 resolution with disabled physics effects, in other modes, due to lack of memory, the friezes are simply terrible...

 

Testing at 1920x1080 resolution

 

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1200  PhysX off

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With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R7 260X or GeForce GTX 750 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS  . The best solutions would be the Radeon HD 7870 or GeForce GTX 760.

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1200 PhysX on  

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With these settings, video cards of  the GeForce GTX 780 level and higher showed an acceptable FPS

Testing at 2560x1600 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600 PhysX off 

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With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 7950 or GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon R9 280X or GeForce GTX 780 would be the best solutions.

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600  PhysX on

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With these settings, video cards of the GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS. The GeForce GTX 980 would be the best solution.

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2160 PhysX off 

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With these settings, video cards of the Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS.  The optimal solutions will be GeForce GTX 980 and higher.

Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2160  PhysX on

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With these settings, video cards of the GeForce GTX 980 level showed an acceptable FPS.  GeForce GTX 980 Ti  and higher will be the best solutions   .

Well, based on the tests, we can conclude that NVIDIA video cards look more attractive for the game. Also, it is worth noting that the game is rather raw, and when physics effects are activated and in the presence of a system with SLI, it is advisable to disable it, and send the second video card to physics processing. At ultra-high resolution, installing a separate video card to accelerate physics has a positive effect when using SLI.

 

Testing of the video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the  MSI Afterburner program. The results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA were taken as an indicator at resolutions of  1920x1080 and 2560x1600 with various anti-aliasing settings.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings

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The video memory measurement was taken at the end of the game benchmark. The recommended amount of video memory usage for a resolution of 1920x1200 will be 4096 MB of video memory, for a resolution of 2560x1600 - 6144 MB of video memory and for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 6144 MB of video memory. 

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 16 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of the video card for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum graphics quality settings. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080

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CPU performance in the gaming benchmark is sufficient for all models.

Loading of processor cores at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel % 

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Loading of processor cores  at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 AMD % 

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Batman Arkham Knight is capable of supporting up to 8 processing threads, but barely uses only 4 processing cores...

RAM test

The test was carried out on the base configuration Core i 7 5960X @ 4.6 GHz with 16GB DDR4 2400 MGz pre-installed memory. All used RAM was taken as an indicator. The RAM test on the entire system was carried out on various test benches without running extraneous applications (browsers, etc.).

Testing the game's RAM consumption at various quality settings 

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As we can see, with various quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in Batman Arkham Knight is at the level of 4000 megabytes.

Testing system RAM consumption  

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With a 6 GB system, Batman Arkham Knight consumes about 5.6 GB of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 6.2 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, total memory consumption was almost 7.2 GB. And with 32 gigabytes of RAM, the system consumes 8.2  gigabytes of RAM.  

It may seem that the test results look terrible, but in the game itself, FPS drawdowns can be significantly lower than in the in-game benchmark, so we must be patient and wait for corrections and improvements from the developers...