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Total War: Shogun 2 -DirectX 10/10.1/11: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors

 


 

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Released: March 15, 2011
Genre: Strategy (Real-time / Turn-based) / 3D
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Publisher: SEGA
Publisher in Russia: 1C-SoftKlab

Total War: Shogun 2 is a turn-based strategy computer game and military tactics, developed by the British company The Creative Assembly and published by the Japanese company SEGA. It is the seventh game in the acclaimed PC-exclusive Total War series. Shogun 2: Total War is a remake of the first game in the series, Shogun: Total War. Total War: Shogun 2 is dedicated to the period of feudal fragmentation of Japan in the 16th century.

Total War: Shogun 2 was released on March 15, 2011 exclusively for personal computers. At the same time, the game became available for download through the online digital distribution service Steam.

 

Overview: Graphics

 

Total War: Shogun 2 was announced with support for numerous advanced technologies, but, alas, they were not introduced with the release of the game. And now, after such a long time, a game patch was released that introduced support for DirectX 10, DirectX 10.1 and DirectX 11 modes.

Simultaneously with support for DirectX 11, the following features were added:

Extended Shadows
MSAA 2x, 4x, 8x support.
Extended depth of field
Support for tessellation
Support for anti-aliasing

Moreover, the developers also made it impossible to enable anisotropic texture filtering in DirectX9 mode, but promised to fix everything in the next patch.

 

  And so, let's take a closer look at the innovations that the patch provided us with:

  The difference in renders can be seen already in the main menu, namely a better picture (but not much), soft and natural shadows.

Shogun2_44

Also, there are no changes on water maps, except for improved shadows and a slightly improved picture. Moreover, in DirectX9 mode and in DirectX10 mode, the graphics quality is almost the same, the difference is only in improved full-screen anti-aliasing.

Shogun2_11

  Next, we tried to find the presence of tessellation, but no matter how hard we tried, nothing came of it, you can verify this on the screenshots below ...

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  Overall, the graphics in Total War: Shogun 2 look great in both DirectX9/10 and DirectX11 modes. The detailing is on top, but still the expectations were higher than actually came out. The difference in the use of different renderers is not great, but I wanted to ...

       

The game makes heavy demands on CPU resources, especially during the capture process, so the video slowdowns are noticeable, even when using a dual-chip video card.


 

Review: Game resource intensive

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 minimum and average value of frames is taken as a performance indicator. If possible, the most resource-intensive place in the game is selected. Below is the configuration of our test systems.

Hardware configuration

Processors

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE 3.33@4 GHz product provided by AMD

AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE 3.0@3.7 GHz products provided by AMD

AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6 GHz products provided by AMD

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550@ 4.25 GHz

Intel® Core™ i7-930@4.2 GHz

Intel Core i5-760 2.8@4.2 GHz

motherboards

Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H products provided by AMD

Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H products provided by AMD

Maximus II Formula socket LGA 775 product provided by Asus

MSI X58 Eclipse Plus socket LGA1366 product provided by MSI

MSI P 55- GD 55 socket LGA 1156 product provided by MSI

MSI 790 FX - GD 70 socket AM3 product provided by MSI

Memory

GOODRAM PLAY 1600MHz (8-8-8-24) product provided by GOODRAM

GOODRAM Pro 2000MHz (8-8-8-29) product provided by GOODRAM

Video cards

 

multimedia equipment

3D monitor LG W2363D

Monitor LG E2750

3D Vision Kit product provided by Nvidia

Power supplies

4 xSeaSonic S 12 D 850 Silver 850 W product provided by Syntex

System software and drivers

operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 _

DirectX

DirectX 11

Platform driver

Intel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.0.1012

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce / ION Driver Release 270.51

AMD Catalyst 11.4

Less productive video cards up to the level of GeForce GTS 450 and Radeon HD 4870 are tested based on Core 2 Quad Q9550 and Phenom II X4 940 BE processors, depending on the resource intensity of the game, and more productive ones based on more powerful solutions. Overclocked versions of video cards presented by sponsors were equated to conventional counterparts by reducing their clock speeds.

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Our video cards were tested at 1920x1080 resolution in DirectX 10, DirectX 10.1 and DirectX 11 modes. AMD Eyefinity technology was also tested in these modes at 5760x1080 resolution on three connected monitors. NVIDIA 3D Vision is currently not supported by Total War Shogun 2. From our graphs, you can see how your graphics card behaves relative to other modern solutions.

Shogun2_2011

The tests were carried out in the gaming benchmark and in the game itself. The reason for this was the serious attitude of the benchmark to the on-board memory of the video card - even if a couple of miserable megabytes of video memory are not enough, it flatly refuses to conduct a test. And we all know that when there is a shortage of video memory, the video card turns to the main subsystem, compensating for its shortage. The FPS benchmark result was taken from the log file.

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Tests in the game were carried out on the game map. Ever since Rome: Total War, the global map has been very detailed and graphically saturated, forcing the video system to squander worse than anything else. Total War: Shogun 2 was no exception, as you will see later in our testing, squeezing all the juice out of video cards...

 


 

Testing in DirectX 10 mode

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We conducted tests in the DirectX 10 mode with all the maximum available settings for this mode. V-sync was disabled, and the level of anti-aliasing was set to the MLAA level, which, alas, was enough in DirectX 9 mode.

Testing at maximum quality settings in the benchmark 1920x1080 MLAA DX 10

bench_1920_dx_10

The gaming benchmark at the set settings in this case sets the requirements for the video memory subsystem and set the bar at least 1 gigabyte. The minimum that we need in this case is video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 470 level.

Testing at maximum quality settings in the game 1920x1080 MLAA DX 10

game_1920_dx_10

 

In the game itself, we see a slightly different picture, and here NVIDIA cards showed slightly better performance than in the gaming benchmark. A more or less acceptable level of performance will be shown by video cards of the level of Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 470.

 

Testing at maximum quality settings in the benchmark 5760x1080 MLAA DX 10

bench_5760_dx_10

Testing at maximum quality settings in the game 5760x1080  MLAA DX 10

game_5760_dx_10

In the AMD Eyefinity test, we see the same alignment of forces, both in the gaming benchmark and in the game itself. The only playable solution is the Radeon HD 6990.

 


 

Testing in DirectX 10.1 mode

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We conducted tests in the mode with all the maximum available settings for this mode. Vertical synchronization, as in the previous case, was disabled, and the maximum allowable anti-aliasing level rose to a higher level and amounted to MSAA 8X.

Testing at maximum quality settings in the benchmark 1920x1080 MSAA 8X DX 10.1

bench_1920_dx_10.1

In this case, only video cards that have more than 1280 megabytes on board were able to pass the benchmark. In this case, the player will need to have video cards of the level Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 480 and higher.

Testing at maximum quality settings in the game 1920x1080 MSAA 8X DX 10.1 

game_1920_dx_10.1

The game will endure almost everything, and we can compare the performance of almost all of our test subjects with DirectX 10.1 support. The picture here is slightly different from the gaming benchmark and it will be possible to play comfortably on video accelerators of the Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 570 level. 

Testing at maximum quality settings in the benchmark 5760x1080 MSAA 8X DX 10.1

bench_5760_dx_10.1

Testing at maximum quality settings in the game 5760x1080 MSAA 8X DX 10.1

game_5760_10.1

At a resolution of 5760x1080, with the given quality settings, unfortunately, there are no playable solutions at the moment. In this case, a gigabyte of memory on board video cards is not enough, but even the presence of two does not save the situation...

 


 

Testing in DirectX 11 mode

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We conducted tests in the mode with all the maximum allowable settings for this mode. In addition to everything, a new “mosaic” setting has become available in the graphical menu, which, according to the developers, should display game landscapes in a better way.

Testing at maximum quality settings in the benchmark 1920x1080 MSAA 8X DX 11

bench_1920_dx_11

With the activation of DirectX 11, only video cards with a memory capacity of 1536 and 2048 megabytes passed the benchmark. An acceptable level of performance will be shown by graphics solutions of the level of Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 580. Only their two-chip solutions were able to show comfortable performance.

Testing at maximum quality settings in the game 1920x1080 MSAA 8X DX 11

game_1920_dx_11

The picture in this case is almost similar to the gaming benchmark, but the positions of AMD cards have dropped a little lower. As in the previous case, only the owners of two-chip solutions will be able to play without problems.

Testing at maximum quality settings in the benchmark 5760x1080 MSAA 8X DX 11

bench_5760_dx_11

Testing at maximum quality settings in the game 5760x1080 MSAA 8X DX 11

game_5760

As with the DirectX 10.1 mode, ultra-high resolution performance leaves a lot to be desired.

1080P DX 11 Gaming Benchmark Testing

bench_dx_11

Total War: Shogun 2 also has a benchmark with its own settings, conducted at 1920x1080 resolution in Full HD DirectX 11 mode and accessible through the Steam launch menu. In this case, more or less acceptable performance can be provided by DirectX 11-compatible video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 460 level.

Based on the purchase of a video card specifically for this game, with balanced quality settings, currently the Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 560 Ti look the most preferable. But as you could see from the tests carried out above, real "extremals" will need two-chip solutions to satisfy their "appetites".

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Processor dependency testing

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We tested processor dependence on 9 models of basic configurations, which are the most relevant today. The test was carried out in a gaming benchmark, which was specially created for testing central processors and works in DirectX 9 mode, creating the maximum load on the central processors and the minimum on the video cards.

Testing CPU-dependence in a gaming benchmark in DirectX 9 mode

proz_stw2

As we can see, not one of our tested processors could show a decent result in this game. Based on the results of testing processor dependence in Total War: Shogun 2, we can conclude that the game needs at least a four-core processor with a very high clock speed.