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Watch Dogs: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors

BASIC INFORMATION ON THE GAME

Watch Dogs 2014 05 25 09 08 34 366   

Year of release : 2014
Genre : Action, Adventure, Stealth
Developer : Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Romania, Ubisoft Reflections
Publisher : Ubisoft Entertainment  

 systems

It all started in Chicago, where a central computer network connected everything and everything. Watch Dogs is a reflection of the introduction of technology into our society. Using the city as your weapon, you will begin to fulfill the main goal - the creation of justice with its own face. Chicago's all-encompassing network is called the Central Operating System (ctOS) and controls nearly all of the city's technology base and information—including vital data about its residents.

You play as Aiden Pearce, a genius hacker and true criminal whose criminal past led to a brutal family tragedy. In search of justice, you will be able to control and hack everything that surrounds you, manipulating ctOS with ease. You'll get access to surveillance cameras, upload personal data to achieve your goal, control traffic lights and public transport to stop the enemy... and that's not all.

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

Watch Dogs is supported by 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. It is also worth noting that the game requires only a 64-bit system.

uplay 

The priority and primary graphics API for Watch Dogs is  DirectX 11 . The game is distributed through the Ubisoft Uplay digital service.  

Game engine 

After the presentation at E3 by the French publisher of one of their most ambitious projects, Watch Dogs, it was believed that the game was being developed on the old, but modified engine - Anvil Engine (Assasin's Creed). On February 24, 2013, the game's technical director tweeted that the game was being developed on a completely new engine, Disrupt, specially developed for the Ubisoft Montreal division. According to the developers, none of the technologies available at that time (CryEngine or Unreal Engine) met the requirements and was not suitable for creating open-world games.

 watch dogs egx13 disrupt engine 

The main feature of the Disrupt Engine is dynamism. Many real phenomena have been recreated in the city. How people drive cars, the behavior of water, wind, electricity. Everything reacts to everything, interacts with each other and you get branching reactions. 

Take for example the rain, when the sky darkens, the townspeople take out their umbrellas. Lights are reflected from a wet surface. You can see how the wind changes the direction of the rain, blows away debris and leaves. Clothing is also affected, as Aiden puts his hands in his pockets or a gust of wind will force a passer-by to tighten his jacket. These are not big, but important details. Heavy traffic or an accident will make the townspeople nervous, horn or even leave their cars to find out what's wrong. Bystanders may call an ambulance.

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Such capabilities of the engine, of course, affect the attractiveness of the city and immersion in its atmosphere. And to jump into the flow of events and look at the consequences will be interesting for the gameplay. And this is another feature of the engine - your influence on the world. How people around you treat you depends only on your actions. Moreover, according to animation director Colin Graham (Colin Graham), the reputation of the character will be somewhat more complicated than just “good-evil”. Simply put, if you demonstrate weapons on the streets of the city, open fire and arrange "mayhem", people will increasingly recognize you and call the police. As a result, you can generally become a famous person whose face does not disappear from the news releases. At the same time, stealthily killing an ordinary NPC will not add “+1 to the renegade” to you. 

And saving an innocent victim will not bring people's love if before that you swept through the city center with a machine gun at the ready. Switching to multiplayer will have absolutely no effect on the world around you. According to the developers, the presence of each player in the multiplayer will be invisible. You can only intentionally connect to another player's "world" in order to hunt them down. But until a certain point you will not know if someone is watching you. From here it becomes clear that in one “world” there can be only two real players - “hunter” and “victim”. The one you are hunting will no longer be present in the world of the one who is hunting you.

Plus, the Watch Dogs engine is adaptable across multiple platforms and generations. Of course, this does not mean that the picture on old consoles will be the same quality as on new ones. We have already talked about the Disrupt Engine settings for different generations of consoles earlier. Also, there are already quite a few gameplay demos, so you can see how many moments look in the game.

 

Advanced game settings

 

Watch Dogs has not bypassed the owners of personal computers and has in its arsenal the widest range of graphic settings. All of us have access to two graphical submenus - the main and auxiliary. In the main graphical menu of the game, the resolution, quality of anti-aliasing and textures are selected, and in the auxiliary visual effects.

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 sr 1 max 1
bottom 2 sr 2 max 2

As we can see, the quality of the picture between different settings is quite debatable. In one case, it is practically not noticeable and only affects the quality of lighting, while in the other we see significant changes in both the detailing of surfaces and the structure of water.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K
hd 1 4k1
hd 2 4k2
hd 4k

In 4K, Watch Dogs looks just great, again, with the right monitor.

Comparison of texture quality modes
1 middle 2 high 3 ultra

Самой, пожалуй, "болезненной" настройкой игры является качество текстур. Эффект от данной настройки довольно впечатляющий, особенно при переходе от среднего к высокому качеству. При переходе от высокого к ультравысокому прирост менее значимый, но он все же есть. По сути, на саму производительность графического чипа данная функция не влияет, но она имеет огромное значение для видеопамяти, оперативной памяти, ну и в меньшей мере для ЦП.

 

Сравнение режимов сглаживания

 

no aa smaa
msaa txaa

Активация сглаживания при любых режимах полностью не устраняет неровности поверхностей. Наиболее качественно работают MSAA и TXAA. Но по производительности наиболее предпочтительным является SMAA, так как он меньше влияет на ресурсозависимость графической подсистемы.

Общее визульное оформление и игровая физика

Watch Dogs представляет нам просто невероятную графическую составляющую - реалистичные спецэффекты, высокое разрешение текстур, реалистичные погодные эффекты (динамическая смена дня и ночи, физическое взаимодействие ветра с окружающим миром, реалистичный дождь), детально проработанный город Чикаго, который в большей мере соответствует его реальному прототипу.

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Но скажем прямо, игра не соответствует уровню качества, показанному на Е3 2012, что в большей мере обуславливается желанием разработчиков выпустить свою игру на как можно большем количестве платформ. Но опять же, на Персональных компьютерах еще не выходило игр данного жанра с подобной графической составляющей, так что в некоторой мере это небольшой прорыв в плане улучшения качества игр.

 Watch Dogs 2014 05 25 08 48 33 274

Так же стоит учесть, что Watch Dogs разрабатывалась при поддержки компании NVIDIA, так что нет ничего удивительного, что игра в большей мере оптимизирована под её графические процессоры, а, так же, на видеокартах GeForce будут доступно сглаживание TXAA и более качественные освещение благодаря алгоритму NVIDIA HBAO+. 

Далее мы перейдём непосредственно к игровым тестам и определим, какое влияние оказывает данная игра на современное компьютерное железо. 

ТЕСТОВАЯ ЧАСТЬ

Тестовая конфигурация

Тестовые стенды

Тестовый стенд № 1 на базе платформы Intel Soket 2011

Тестовый стенд № 2 на базе платформы Intel Soket 2011

Тестовый стенд № 3 на базе платформы Intel Soket 1155

Тестовый стенд № 6 на базе платформы AMD Soket AM3

Тестовый стенд № 7 на базе платформы AMD Soket AM3 +

Тестовый стенд № 8 на базе платформы Intel Soket 1150

Мультимедийное оборудование

Монитор Dell U3010 

Монитор ASUS PQ321QE

Программная конфигурация

Операционная система

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Графический драйвер

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 337.88

AMD Catalyst 14.6

Программа мониторинга

MSI Afterburner v 3 beta 19

GPU Mist

FRAPS

Тест GPU

Все видеокарты тестировались на максимальном качестве графики программой MSI Afterburner. Целью теста является определить, как ведут себя видеокарты от различных производителей при одинаковых условиях. За показатель производительности брался средний и минимальный FPS. Ниже приведено видео тестового отрезка: 

Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Watch Dogs, tests were carried out with various anti-aliasing modes. Multi-chip SLI and AMD CrossFireX configurations with the latest graphics drivers  work without any problems, showing good scalability.

Now let's explain about testing to avoid unnecessary questions. The test on high textures was carried out due to the fact that the very performance of video cards between high and ultra-high textures is unchanged, but video cards with a lower amount of memory periodically experience terrible freezes and slowdowns. Also, this option affects the RAM and CPU. In fact, at ultra settings, video cards will have the same performance, but there will be a limited number of them - for FullHD solutions from 2 gigabytes and above, and for 2560x1600/4K from 3 gigabytes and above. Video memory consumption in  SLI and  AMD CrossFireX modes is less optimized  than for single solutions, therefore, for this mode, its larger volume will be required, therefore, the friezes will appear more clearly and with a larger amount of VRAM.

 

Testing at 1920x1080 resolution

 

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 no AA

 1920

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 6950 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS. The optimal video cards will be solutions Radeon HD 7850 or  GeForce GTX 560 Ti  and higher. Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 1 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.    

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 SMAA

 1920 smaa

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R7 260X or GeForce GTX 560 level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon R9 270 or  GeForce GTX 560 Ti  and higher solutions will be optimal video cards.  Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 1 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 MSAA 4X

1920 msaa

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 7950 or GeForce GTX 660 level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon R9 280X or  GeForce GTX 760  and higher solutions will be optimal video cards. Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 1.5 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.  

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 TXAA 4X

wd 1920 txaa

With these settings,  video cards of the GeForce GTX 660 level showed an acceptable FPS. GeForce GTX 760  and higher solutions will be optimal video cards. 

Testing at 2560x1600 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600  no AA

2560 

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 7950 or GeForce GTX 580 level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon HD 7970 or  GeForce GTX 760  and higher solutions will be optimal video cards. Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 1.5 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600  SMAA

 2560 smaa

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 7950 or GeForce GTX 760 level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon HD 7970 or GeForce GTX 760 and higher solutions will be optimal video cards. Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 1.5 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600  MSAA 4X

2560 msaa 

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon HD 7990 or  GeForce GTX 780 and higher solutions will be optimal video cards. Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 2 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600  TXAA 4X

wd 2560 txaa 

With these settings,  video cards of the GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS. GeForce GTX 780 and higher solutions will be optimal video cards. Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 2 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560  no AA

3840 

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon HD 7990 or  GeForce GTX 780 Ti  and higher solutions will be optimal video cards.  Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 2/3 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.

Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560  SMAA

3840 smaa 

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS.  Radeon HD 7990 or  GeForce GTX 780 Ti  and higher solutions will be optimal video cards.  The optimal video cards will be solutions GeForce GTX 780 Ti  and higher. Due to the lack of video memory, solutions with 2/3 gigabytes of VRAM may experience periodic freezes.

Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560  MSAA 2X

3840 msaa 

With these settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 7990 or  GeForce GTX 780  level showed an acceptable FPS. Radeon R9 295X2 or  GeForce GTX 780 Ti  and higher  solutions will be optimal video cards  .  Due to the lack of video memory, all solutions may experience periodic friezes.

Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560  TXAA 2X

 wd 3840 txaa

With these settings, video cards of the GeForce GTX 780 SLI level  and higher  showed an acceptable FPS  . Due to the lack of video memory, all solutions may experience periodic friezes. 

 

memory GPU

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 quality settings memory GPU High Textures

vram hi 

The recommended amount of video memory usage for a resolution of 1920x1080 will be 2048 MB of video memory,  for a resolution of 2560x1600 - 3076 MB of video memory and for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 4096 MB of video memory.  According to our observations, video cards with at least 1536 MB of video memory  for a resolution of 2560x1600 - 2018 MB of video memory for a resolution of 3840x2160 and  at least 3076 MB of video memory for a resolution of  3840x2160

Testing at maximum quality settings memory GPU Ultra Textures

vram ultra

The recommended amount of video memory for a resolution of 1920x1080 will be 3076 MB of video memory. For a resolution of 2560x1600 - 4096 MB of video memory and  for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 4096 MB of video memory.  It may seem strange that in heavier modes the R9 290X reduces the consumption of video memory, but this is due to the fact that the video card runs out of video memory and VRAM is allocated in parallel with the RAM buffer.

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 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. The test was conducted on NVIDIA and AMD graphics solutions.

 Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Radeon  High Textures

proz amd hi 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080  Radeon  Ultra Textures

 proz amd ultra

The processor performance of the game based on AMD video cards is at a quite playable level.

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 GeForce  High Textures  

 proz nvidia hi

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 GeForce  Ultra Textures

proz nvidia ultra 

The performance of processors using NVIDIA video cards is significantly higher, which indicates excellent optimization in terms of drivers.

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

wd intel 

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

wd amd 

The game is capable of supporting up to 8 computational threads, but only 6 cores can be fully utilized.

RAM test

The test was conducted on the base configuration Core i 7 3970X@4.9 GHz with 16GB DDR3 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 System RAM Consumption  High Textures

ram2hi

The game does not have a limitation on launching when using RAM, which will please many users. With a 4 GB system, Watch Dogs consumes about 3.5 GB of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 4.2 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, system memory consumption was almost 5.1 GB. It is worth noting that on a system with 4 gigabytes, friezes and loading sometimes occur, which means that the high texture mode for these systems is the maximum level. 

Testing System RAM Consumption  Ultra Textures

 ram2 ultra

At ultra-high textures, a 4 GB system consumes all 4 GB of RAM, freezes terribly and is unplayable. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 5.3 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, system memory consumption was almost 6.2 GB. The game itself in all modes and qualities always consumes about 2 gigabytes of RAM, so this test was not displayed in the graphs.

Well, what can be said in terms of optimization? She's pretty good in Watch Dogs. In fact, for a more or less comfortable game, any modern 4-core processor, a video card of the  Radeon R9 280 / HD 7970 or GeForce GTX 760 / GTX 670 level is suitable for us. As for RAM, for a comfortable game it should be at least 6- you gigabyte. Video RAM should be around 2 GB for high texture mode and 3 GB for ultra mode. And of course, judging from our testing, Watch Dogs, as expected, gives more preference to NVIDIA solutions.