The outgoing 2017 was marked by a lot of interesting games, many of which have been released in recent months. Some of them appeared in our individual gaming tests or in video card reviews, and some have so far been deprived of our attention. In this article, we will again turn to the practice of group game testing, in the image of the first article in the «Games against video cards» format. Let’s put together a few mid-range and budget graphics cards and compare them in the best games of the autumn period. This will allow you to evaluate the overall performance situation in these games and determine the best solutions at this point in time. We confine ourselves to tests in nominal modes, without overclocking graphics accelerators.

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Full list of test participants:

All video adapters were brought to standard frequencies to match the reference solutions of their series. The Radeon R9 270X replaces its predecessor, the Radeon HD 7870. The GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580 are previously unseen models, which will be covered in separate reviews. Due to circumstances, the Radeon RX 560 and GeForce GTX 1050 don’t feature in the three games, but that doesn’t hurt to get the big picture together.

Once again, the topic of the confrontation between the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX 560 and GeForce GTX 1050 will be touched upon. The results obtained will replenish the data set based on the results of previous major tests of the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 560.

Characteristics of the tested video cards

The official characteristics of video cards are given in the table.

Video adapter GeForce GTX 1060 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GeForce GTX 1050 GeForce GTX 960 GeForce GTX 780 Ti Radeon RX 580 Radeon RX 560 4GB Radeon RX 480 Radeon R9 270X
Core GP106 GP107 GP107 GM206 GK110 Polaris 20 Polaris 21 Polaris 10 Curacao
Number of transistors, million pieces 4400 3300 3300 2940 7100 5700 3000 5700 2800
Process technology, nm 16 14 14 28 28 14 14 14 28
Core area, sq. mm 200 132 132 228 561 232 123 232 212
Number of stream processors 1280 768 640 1024 2880 2304 1024 2304 1280
Number of texture blocks 80 48 40 64 240 144 64 144 80
Number of render units 48 32 32 32 48 32 16 32 32
Core frequency, MHz 1506–1708 1290–1392 1354–1455 1126–1178 875–926 1257–1340 1175–1275 1120–1266 1050
Memory bus, bit 192 128 128 128 384 256 128 256 256
Memory type GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory frequency, MHz 8000 7012 7012 7010 7000 8000 7000 8000 5600
Memory size, MB 6144 4096 2048 2048 3072 8192 4096 8192/4096 2048
Supported version of DirectX 12 12 12 12 11.1 12 12 12 11.2
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
Power, W 120 75 75 120 250 185 75 150 180

The performance graphs for GeForce will show the full Boost frequency range, and Radeon will show the maximum Boost value.

test stand

The test bench configuration is as follows:

  • processor: Intel Core i7-6950X (3.0@4.1 GHz);
  • cooler: Noctua NH-D15 (two NF-A15 PWM fans, 140 mm, 1300 rpm);
  • motherboard: MSI X99S MPower (Intrl X99);
  • memory: G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4×8 GB, DDR4-3200, CL14-14-14-35);
  • system disk: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB (240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s);
  • secondary drive: Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 (1 TB, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200 rpm);
  • power supply: Seasonic SS-750KM (750 W);
  • monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27″);
  • operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64;
  • GeForce driver: NVIDIA GeForce 388.13 and GeForce 388.71;
  • Radeon driver: AMD Crimson Edition 17.11.2 and Adrenalin Edition 17.12.2.

A brief summary of the games and testing methodology are described below. The tests were carried out at a resolution of 1920×1080 at the maximum graphics quality, in some cases additional modes with lower settings are involved. In this case, we have abandoned our usual method of alphabetizing applications, the games are arranged in a list according to the release date.

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

A standalone game in the Dishonored series that takes place after Dishonored 2. Death of the Outsider tells the story of an assassination attempt on the god of the Abyss, the Alien. Also, the game closes various storylines associated with characters from add-ons to the first game. Read more in our review.

The technical performance is at the level of the previous game, but over the year the Void Engine has been better optimized, so the performance has grown relative to Dishonored 2. The game pleases with well-developed large levels with a scrupulous attitude to trifles. Volumetric lighting is well implemented, high-quality HBAO + shading is supported.

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Performance was measured while walking around the city block at the beginning of the second mission. The test sequence included walking along the street lamps and a short run around the square with the monument.

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Graphics quality set to maximum, HBAO+ shading active.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

A new game about the resurrected warrior Talion, who gathers an army of orcs and besieges the enemy’s fortresses. Shadow of War offers a unique social hierarchy system for personalized orcs with the ability to recruit supporters, infiltrate spies and pit rivals.

The game is divided into several large locations. The Firebird Engine demonstrates a high draw distance with meticulous attention to detail. With the high-resolution texture pack, the game exhibits incredible clarity on surfaces, which suffers a little from TAA, which gives a slight smearing of small details. Tessellation is actively used to create more complex relief surfaces.

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For testing, the built-in gaming benchmark was used, which was run 5-6 times on each video card.

Only powerful solutions can handle the maximum graphics settings. Therefore, the main testing was carried out when choosing the Very High quality profile. The older members of our roster have been further tested in Ultra mode with high resolution textures.

The Evil Within 2

The continuation of the horror film The Evil Within came out in the big world. Now running along dark corridors is combined with exploring a large gloomy city inhabited by dangerous entities.

The Evil Within 2 is based on the STEM Engine powered by id Tech. The game shows good lighting effects with a sense of volumetric light, good world elaboration and rich bloody effects. However, the picture suffers from aggressive post-processing filters. Excessive motion blur and TAA reduce image clarity. A very meager set of graphics settings does not allow you to properly adjust the graphics, but it is possible to remove blur and change anti-aliasing.

Testing was carried out by replaying a small episode at the very beginning of the game, when the hero runs into a burning building. Six repetitions, in the case of a large data scatter, an additional run was performed with the same number of repetitions.

The tests were carried out with the maximum graphics quality selected (Very High) and with medium settings (Medium).

ELEX

New game from Piranha Bytes studio. This team finally said goodbye to the Gothic/Risen clones and released a post-apocalyptic role-playing game in the same Gothic style. ELEX suffers from a crooked combat system, but the game world captivates with a variety and abundance of tasks.

The game is based on the Genome Engine. The legacy of Risen is visually recognizable, but with increased draw distance, denser vegetation and rich volumetric lighting. In some places, ELEX looks a little old, but often the picture pleases the eye. The game supports DirectX 11.

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Testing was done with Fraps at the beginning of the game after going down the elevator. A walk along a certain route was performed, several repetitions. Abundant vegetation and bright lighting create a good load in this simple test scene.

Testing was carried out in two modes. Initially, all parameters are in High mode, FXAA anti-aliasing. The second mode provides for increasing to Ultra those parameters that allow you to do this (fog, shadows, rendering distance), plus SMAA anti-aliasing.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

The new game in the Assassin’s Creed series refers to the distant times of Ancient Egypt, when the glorious past is already behind us, and the Ptolemaic dynasty is on the throne. The ancient historical setting is combined with a vivid picture, which turns Assassin’s Creed Origins into a kind of exotic adventure.

The game looks great. The graphics engine demonstrates large spaces with a high draw distance. All this is complemented by excellent detail and rich design of cities, textured surfaces, naturalistic lighting and shadows. DirectX 11 supported.

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For testing, the built-in gaming benchmark was used, which was run several times for each video adapter.

All participants were tested at the Very High graphics level, the older accelerators were additionally tested at maximum settings.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

A new action movie about the Nazis crushing Blazhkovich. Rapid firefights, constant change of situations, ubersoldiers, robots and dark humor — the game has everything that was expected from it, and even more.

The New Colossus is based on the latest version of the id Tech engine and runs on the Vulkan API. With good detail and clear textures, the game suffers from blurry pictures. Affects aggressive post-processing and anti-aliasing TAA.

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For testing, an episode with a shootout was chosen to simulate a typical game situation. We grab a laser gun and deal with a group of enemies, making several explosions along the way, firing from a machine gun.

The game turned out to be quite wayward, so video adapters of different levels were tested in two modes. Simpler solutions tested at ultra-high quality, more powerful ones at Uber quality. The «Mein Leben» max level setting is disabled.

Call of Duty: WWII

The new game of the Call of Duty series returned to the theme of World War II, but now strictly on the Western Front, where the brave Americans do their best to save the world, avoiding intolerant statements about the damned Krauts. The game offers familiar military episodes in modern graphics and new gaming moments.

Call of Duty traditionally pleases with ultra-clear textures, excellent detailing and voluminous embossed surfaces. This is combined with the usual high requirements for video memory. By default, SMAA T2x anti-aliasing is offered, but we would recommend simple SMAA — the picture is sharper with it.

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The performance comparison was made at the very beginning of the game. A platoon of soldiers rushes on a landing craft to the coast of Normandy under enemy fire. A simple yet visually rich episode. The duration of the test segment is 110 seconds.

The maximum quality of all graphical parameters is set with SMAA T2x anti-aliasing.

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