Recently, Unknown Worlds Entertainment released the final version of Subnautica: Below Zero. This is a survival game that is a continuation of the original Subnautica. The first game of 2018 was remembered by many thanks to the great atmosphere and the original setting, where we explored the alien underwater world. Below Zero sends us back to a familiar planet, but to a different part of it, where a random survivor will have to uncover new secrets.
Competently built plot turns the game into a fascinating exploration. Now underwater dives are diluted with longer aboveground stages. The surroundings have changed a little due to the fact that the events take place in cold latitudes. Therefore, we are expected to meet with new creatures and new dangers.
The game uses the Unity engine and runs in the DirectX 11 environment. There is a feeling that the game has improved the work with LOD and the range of drawing the underwater world. Other significant technical changes are not visually noticeable.
List of test participants:
All video cards were brought to the standard frequencies for their series, overclocking was not involved.
Full specifications are given in the table.
|Video adapter||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3070||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE||GeForce RTX 2070 Super||GeForce RTX 3060||GeForce GTX 1060 6GB||Radeon RX 6800 XT||Radeon RX 6800||Radeon RX 6700 XT||Radeon RX 5700 XT||Radeon RX 580|
|Core||GA102||GA104||TU102||TU104||GA106||GP106||Navi 21||Navi 21||Navi 22||Navi 10||Polaris 20|
|Number of transistors, million pieces||28000||17000||18600||13600||13250||4400||26800||26800||17200||10300||5700|
|Process technology, nm||8||8||12||12||12||16||7||7||7||7||14|
|Core area, sq. mm||627||450||754||545||276||200||520||520||335||251||232|
|Number of stream processors||10240||5888||4352||2560||3584||1280||4608||3840||2560||2560||2304|
|Number of texture blocks||320||184||272||160||112||80||288||240||160||160||144|
|Number of render units||112||96||88||64||48||48||128||96||64||64||32|
|Base core frequency, MHz||1365||1500||1350||1605||1320||1506||1825||1700||2321||1605||1257|
|Game Clock frequency, MHz||—||—||—||—||—||—||2015||1815||2424||1755||—|
|Boost Clock, MHz||1665||1725||1635||1770||1777||1708||2250||2105||2581||1905||1340|
|Memory bus, bit||384||320||352||256||192||192||256||256||192||256||256|
|Memory frequency, MHz||19000||14000||14000||14000||15000||8000||16000||16000||16000||14000||8000|
|Memory size, GB||12||8||11||8||12||6||16||16||12||8||8|
|Supported version of DirectX||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 (12_1)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 (12_1)||12 (12_0)|
|Interface||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 3.0|
The table shows the official data on the average Boost Clock for the core. The graphs show the full range of frequencies — from base to peak Boost.
The test bench configuration is as follows:
- Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K;
- cooling system: be quiet! Silent Loop 280mm;
- motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula;
- Memory: Kingston HyperX HX434C16FB3K2/32 (DDR4-3466@3600);
- system disk: Kingston SSDNow UV400 480GB;
- Optional Drive #1: Kingston A2000 NVMe PCIe 1000GB;
- Optional Drive #2: Kingston KC2000 NVMe PCIe 1000GB;
- case: Antec NX800;
- power supply: Antec HCG850 Gold;
- monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27″);
- operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64;
- AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition driver 21.6.1;
- NVIDIA GeForce 466.77/466.11 driver.
The test sequence consisted of a short dry run and a swim along a specific route at the starting location. Several repetitions to reduce the error. Measurements were made using MSI Afterburner. High graphics quality profile selected.
The graphs show 1% low, minimum fps, average fps.
Let’s start with a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080.
Even the old GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580 cards perform well, although they can drop below 50 frames in difficult scenes. The new GeForce RTX 3060 is more than enough. The video memory load is less than 4 GB.
Top video cards are tested only in high resolutions.
As the load increases, the advantage of the Radeon RX 5700 XT over the GeForce RTX 3060 becomes more pronounced. The minimum difference between the GeForce RTX 3070 and the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. At a higher level, the results are the Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT, which are second only to the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.
At 4K resolution, the old flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti minimizes the gap to the Radeon RX 6800. These graphics cards can be called the minimum choice for this resolution. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti outperforms the Radeon RX 6800 XT by 25-27%.
To enjoy the underwater world in Subnautica: Below Zero at standard Full HD resolution, you do not need top-end graphics cards. The old GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580 will cope with this task, but for complete comfort, more productive models are needed. The GeForce RTX 3060, Radeon RX 5700 XT, and increasingly powerful solutions handle 2560×1400 resolution. But at 4K, the game already presents a serious load, even the GeForce RTX 2080 TI with the Radeon RX 6800 is the minimum choice for high resolution. Comfortable performance at stable 60 frames and above in this mode will be provided by the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. These graphics cards have a significant advantage over the Radeon RX 6800 XT.