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Total War ROME II: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors

BASIC INFORMATION ON THE GAME

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Release Year : 2013
Genre : Strategy (Real-time / Turn-based) / 3D
Developer : The Creative Assembly
Publisher : SEGA
Platform : PC

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Take command of the most powerful army of the ancient world, turn your country into a great empire and make your enemies bow to your military, economic and political power. Of course, some will admire your success, while others will envy, it is possible that your closest associates will be among the latter.

Will the traitors be able to stab you in the back, or will you be the first to take on old friends? How much are you willing to sacrifice to make Rome exactly the way you want it to be? Assuming the title of emperor, will you defend the republic, or will you turn into a cruel dictator?

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

Total War ROME II 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. 

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The priority graphics API for the Total War ROME II multiplayer game is DirectX 11. The game is distributed through the Steam digital gaming service.

Game engine 

Total War ROME II is based on the Warscape game engine. Warscape is a game engine developed by the British company The Creative Assembly for internal use in their games in the Total War series. Warscape is intended for use only on personal computers running Microsoft Windows. The first game to use Warscape, Empire: Total War, the fifth game in the Total War series, was released on March 3, 2009.

TheCreativeAssembly

Beginning with Rome: Total War in 2004, the Total War games used the Total War engine, which was used until Medieval II: Total War - Kingdoms in 2007. After that, it was decided to create a new engine - "Warscape", the first game on which was "Empire: Total War" in 2009.

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During the development of Napoleon: Total War, the engine was "well polished," Craig Laycock of The Creative Assembly said in an interview with Armchair General. However, during the development of Total War: Shogun 2, the engine was further reworked and significantly improved. The main innovation was support for DirectX 11 and some AMD technologies: Eyefinity and CrossFireX.

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"Total War: Shogun 2" was promoted by AMD as part of a marketing campaign for HD 6xxx series graphics cards as a game that actively uses the capabilities of DirectX 11. However, a few days before the release of the game, it became known that it would not contain DX11 mode. The developers stated that they did not have time to finalize this mode, and it will be released later as a patch. The heavily modified Warscape engine in Total War: Rome 2 allows you to see exotic cities in great detail, and the new camera makes it possible to observe the battlefield from any angle.

Advanced game settings

Total War ROME II has a very wide range of graphics settings. The game has both standard and advanced graphics settings. We can change the graphic settings from the minimum to the maximum quality levels.

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Below we have included screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium, and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Low quality settings 
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Medium quality settings
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Maximum quality settings  
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As we can see, the difference between the different quality settings is quite significant and the picture is most attractive at maximum graphics.
General visual design and game physics

The Total War series is a PC exclusive, which means that game graphics from the developers is in one of the first places in the process of implementing the next game. And Total War ROME II was no exception in this regard - the graphics in the game are simply stuffed with all sorts of bells and whistles and detailing of everything and everything, from which we can say that any modern top-end hardware will “boil” from the game ...

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Of course, the Total War series has never seen this before: game locations have become thoroughly developed, the game world has acquired more realism, units are more diverse, and battles are simply epoch-making. What is the new mode of combined sea and land battles worth!

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But we all know that you have to pay for beauty, and then 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 2 011

Testbed #2 based on the Intel Socket 2 011

Test stand #3 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test stand #4 based on the Intel Socket 1366 platform

Testbed #5 based on the Intel Socket 115 6

Test Bench #6 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Benchmark #7 Based on AMD Socket AM3 +

multimedia equipment

3D monitor LG W2363D

Monitor LG E2750

Dell U3010 monitor product provided by  AMD

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 SP1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 326.80

AMD Catalyst 13.10

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v 3.0.14

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 of the in-game benchmark was taken as the performance indicator.  Below is a video of the test segment:   

Our video cards were tested at 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 resolutions at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Total War ROME II. Multi-chip configurations from NVIDIA and AMD have absolutely no support in the game. And if SLI does not react at all to the game, then Cross Fire with new drivers 13.10 it goes into the red, and in the previous version 13.8 it lagged incredibly, which was expressed in screen flickering and disappearing textures. Therefore, we strongly advise you to disable Cross Fire, which was done in all the corresponding video cards in our review - they worked in tests on the same chip.

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 

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At a resolution of 1920x1080 at maximum settings, video cards of the level Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 480 showed an acceptable level of performance . Solutions at the level of  Radeon HD 7950 or  GeForce GTX 660 Ti will be optimal  .

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600

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At a resolution of 2560x1600 at maximum settings, video cards of the level Radeon HD 7970GE or  GeForce GTX 770 showed an acceptable level of performance  . Solutions of the level  GeForce GTX 780 and higher will be optimal  .

VRAM test

memory GPU

Testing of the video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the  MSI Afterburner program. The results were taken on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA at resolutions of  1920x1080 and 2560x1600.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings 

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The recommended amount of video memory for this game Total War ROME II is about 1536 MB for standard resolutions and at least 2048 MB for ultra-high.

Micro Stuttering Test

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 Introducing our testing of FPS output latency on a Micro-Stuttering monitor. The results were taken on video cards from AMD ARES II and NVIDIA GTX 780 at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum image quality settings.

Testing at maximum quality settings Micro-Stuttering GPU

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Micro-Stuttering delays for NVIDIA video cards are at an acceptable level, but for AMD things are a little worse...

CPU test

 We tested processor dependence on 15 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test in most cases 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%, at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum graphics quality settings.  

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080

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As we can see, Total War ROME II leaves no chance for almost anyone. The only more or less comfortable solution is the top six-core model from Intel. All other solutions coped with the game with a big stretch... In the graphics, we presented the overclocked results of top processors from Intel and AMD.

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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Total War ROME II uses all the available resources of the CPU cores, but loads them unevenly, which indicates not very high-quality optimization, because the game requires quite a lot of resources that are literally not demanded by the source code. 

RAM test

3930K

Testing of the RAM consumed by the game was carried out by monitoring directly through the Windows Task Manager. The test was conducted on the base configuration Core i 7 3970X@4.9 GHz with 16GB DDR3 2400 MGz pre-installed memory.

Testing at various quality settings

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As we can see, with various basic quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in Total War ROME II is at the level of 1000 megabytes. Thus, for a comfortable game, you must have at least 2  GB of RAM installed in your PC. 

So, in the conclusion of our review, we want to draw the following conclusion - the performance of the Total War ROME II game is more dependent on the CPU than on the video card. The maximum that the top-end Core I 7 3970X @ 3.5 GHz CPU can pull out today is video cards of the Radeon HD 7950 or GeForce GTX 660 Ti level. The minimum FPS can be raised to a maximum of 38 frames, but if this model is overclocked to almost 5GHz, which is an impracticable solution for the average user.

Extreme overclocking of the Core I 5/7 will give you a more or less stable 25 FPS, but again, you overclock at your own risk. We are writing this to what we have already met on the forums of many users who, in the dream of a comfortable game in Total War ROME II, are running for new video cards, but we warn you that the bottleneck of Total War ROME II is precisely the central processor and replacing the video system can give a zero result . So, dear comrades, we are waiting for patches that improve the optimization in the game.

With the release of the first beta patch for Total War ROME II and a hotfix for it, the situation in performance has not changed much. AMD has released version 13.10 drivers, the flickering and twitching in Cross Fire mode is gone, but the performance goes down in a strange way, so its activation is not relevant. They also added an overclocked FX 8350 to 4.5 GHz, which did not give it almost any increase in performance...