In February 2020, Wolcen Studios presented the full version of the ambitious project Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem. This is a hack and slash game with advanced graphics powered by CryEngine. And if the quality of technical performance and gameplay nuances raised questions among a number of players, then in terms of graphics, Wolcen confidently claims the title of the most beautiful Diablo clone. System requirements turned out to be high as expected, and such a game deserves separate testing of video cards in order to understand the performance situation in detail.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem shows great detail, embossed living surfaces, and good lighting work. Everything looks very lively and cute, which is especially contrasted against the background of the cartoon style of many famous games of this genre.

Wolcen: Lords of MayhemWolcen: Lords of Mayhem

This level of graphics is provided by the manufacturability of the CryEngine engine and the high-quality work of artists. The game only supports the DirectX 11 API. Several quality profiles are offered, where the maximum graphics level corresponds to the Very High settings.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

All subsequent tests were carried out at maximum settings in three resolutions.

Test participants

Top solutions, mid-range video cards and budget models have been tested.

The most powerful graphics card is the GeForceRTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition. Recall that for the older Turing, the Founders Edition option implies a slight acceleration in Boost frequencies.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

There is the flagship NVIDIA of the old generation — GeForce GTX 1080 Ti in the reference version.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

From AMD’s side, the most powerful solution at the moment is the Radeon VII.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

Full list of participants:

All video cards were brought to the standard frequencies for their series. Acceleration was not used.

Characteristics of test participants

Video adapter GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE GeForce GTX 1080Ti GeForce RTX 2070 Super GeForce RTX 2070 GeForce RTX 2060 Super GeForce GTX 1660 Super GeForce GTX 1650 Super GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GeForce GTX 780 Ti Radeon VII Radeon RX 5700 XT Radeon RX 5700 Radeon RX 5600 XT Radeon RX 5500 XT Radeon RX 580 Radeon RX 480 Radeon RX 570
Core TU102 GP102 TU104 TU106 TU106 TU116 TU116 GP106 GK110 Vega 20 Navi 10 Navi 10 Navi 10 Navi 14 Polaris20 Polaris 10 Polaris 20
Number of transistors, million pieces 18600 12000 13600 10800 10800 6600 6600 4400 7100 13200 10300 10300 10300 6400 5700 5700 5700
Process technology, nm 12 16 12 12 12 12 12 16 28 7 7 7 7 7 14 14 14
Core area, sq. mm 754 471 545 445 445 284 284 200 561 331 251 251 251 158 232 232 232
Number of CUDA Stream Processors 4352 3584 2560 2304 2176 1408 1280 1280 2880 3840 2560 2304 2304 1408 2304 2304 2048
Number of texture blocks 272 224 160 144 136 88 80 80 240 240 160 144 144 88 144 144 128
Number of render units 88 88 64 64 64 48 32 48 48 64 64 64 64 32 32 32 32
Core frequency, MHz: Base-Boost 1350–1635 1480–1582 1605–1770 1410–1620 1470–1650 1530–1785 1530–1725 1506–1708 875–926 1400–1750 1605–1905 1465–1725 1130–1560 1607–1845 1257–1340 1120–1266 1168–1244
Memory bus, bit 352 352 256 256 256 192 128 192 384 4096 256 256 192 128 256 256 256
Memory type GDDR6 GDDR5X GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR5 GDDR6 GDDR5 GDDR5 HBM2 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory frequency, MHz 14000 11008 14000 14000 14000 14000 12000 8000 7000 2000 14000 12000 14000 14000 8000 8000 7000
Memory size, GB 11 11 8 8 8 6 4 6 3 16 8 6 8 4 8 8192 4096
Supported version of DirectX 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (11_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_0) 12 (12_0)
Interface PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 4.0 PCI-E 4.0 PCI-E 4.0 PCI-E 4.0 (8x) PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0
Power, W 260 250 215 175 175 125 100 120 250 300 225 150 180 130 185 150 150

The table shows the official specifications for GPU frequencies. The graphs show the full frequency range, including peak Boost values ​​that are not specified in the specifications. This notation is used both for NVIDIA solutions and for new AMD models.

test stand

The test bench configuration is as follows:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6950X (3.0@4.2GHz);
  • cooler: NoctuaNH-D15 (two NF-A15 PWM fans, 140 mm, 1300 rpm);
  • motherboard: MSI X99S MPower;
  • memory: G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4×8 GB, DDR4-3200, CL14-14-14-35);
  • system drive: Kingston SSDNow KC400 (256 GB, SATA 6Gb/s);
  • secondary drive: WD Red WD30EFRX (3 TB, SATA 6Gb/s, 5400 rpm);
  • power supply: Raidmax Cobra RX-800AE;
  • monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27″);
  • operating system: Windows 10 Prox64;
  • driverRadeon: AMD Adrenalin Edition 20.4.1/20.1.1;
  • GeForce driver: NVIDIA GeForce 445.75/441.66.

Testing was carried out by repeating the introductory episode with a demonstration of the city and a short run through its streets. We note right away that the repetition of this intro was removed in the latest versions of the game, so this test episode will not be used further. And the scene itself is quite heavy, it characterizes the performance in highly detailed locations or at peak times.

The tests were carried out at three resolutions with the highest quality profile selected. The graphs show the minimum and average fps. Monitoring was carried out using MSI Afterburner.

Test results

Let’s start with the Full HD 1920×1080 resolution, which remains the default for most gamers.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

In terms of average frame rates, the old Radeon RX 580 graphics card meets the requirements of comfortable performance. The competitor in the face of the GeForce GTX 1060 is 20% weaker, not even reaching the level of the Radeon RX 570. In the confrontation with the new Radeon RX 5500 XT and GeForce GTX 1650 Super models, AMD also has an advantage. At the same time, the Radeon RX 5500 XT has more significant fps drops relative to the Radeon RX 580, probably due to the reduced PCI-E interface to eight lines. The GeForce RTX 2070 Super slightly outperforms the reference version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and loses to the Radeon RX 5700 XT. The video memory load can be up to 3.5 GB.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

For a resolution of 2560×1440, the Radeon RX 5600 XT and more expensive models can be considered the optimal solution. The performance of the GeForce RTX 2060 Super is slightly higher, and the GeForce RTX 2070 Super is habitually inferior to the Radeon RX 5700 XT. Noteworthy is a serious difference between older AMD solutions, which is not the case in all games. The Radeon VII outperforms the Radeon RX 5700 XT by 14-15% with less than 10% behind the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. The video memory load is over 4 GB.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

4K resolution brings all graphics cards to their knees. The GeForce RTX 2080 T delivers over 50 frames, which can already be considered normal performance. A slight decrease in the settings will allow you to easily reach the level of 60 frames.

conclusions

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem is a beautiful and demanding game. A detailed picture with shiny surfaces, rays of light and juicy effects in battle looks beautiful, but for comfortable performance at high resolutions, powerful graphics cards are needed. Even an old Radeon RX 580 will do just fine with a simple Full HD resolution, and NVIDIA will need something like a GeForce GTX 1660 or GeForce GTX 1660 Super. We see a significant advantage of AMD solutions in the budget solutions segment. This is also true for more expensive graphics cards, although the difference between direct competitors is less here. The Radeon RX 5700 XT is faster than the GeForce RTX 2070 Super, but at high resolutions, their performance is very close. Radeon VII has good results — AMD’s flagship is only 10-12% behind NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, although there is often a larger gap between them. But if we talk about performance at 4K resolution, then the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti still has no alternatives — in this mode, the game brings all other video cards to their knees. And even with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, a particularly demanding gamer will need to overclock or slightly lower the graphics settings.

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