Last year, another part of the Assassin’s Creed series was released, which completed the new trilogy. Valhalla tied together Odyssey and Origins, united by the story of Laila Hasan. This is a large-scale and rich adventure with a bunch of jobs and quests that can captivate for tens or even hundreds of hours. And once again, this is a beautifully demanding game that has become a serious burden even for new video cards. In this review, we will talk about performance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, compare AMD and NVIDIA video cards in different modes and resolutions.
Valhalla is dedicated to the period of the conquest of Britain by the Vikings. The game pleases with the beautiful hilly landscapes of Britain and the harsh snow-covered fjords of Norway. Each region has its own characteristics and visual atmosphere with careful attention to detail.
The game is based on the AnvilNext 2.0 engine, which is gradually being completed and improved. The key feature was the complete transition to the DirectX 12 API, which is justified for new GPUs, but will negatively affect the performance of older video cards that still pulled past games. At the same time, global visual changes relative to Odyssey are not noticeable.
AMD and NVIDIA video cards of different generations take part in testing. All of them were tested at standard frequencies. An exception is made for ASUS top-end solutions, which have been tested in heavy modes at higher factory frequencies.
The senior representative of the AMD family is the factory overclocked ASUS TUF-RX6800XT-O16G-GAMING and the reference Radeon RX 6800 XT model.
The Radeon RX 6700 XT series is the reference model.
The GeForce RTX 3080 series is presented by ASUS TUF-RTX3080-O10G-GAMING with factory overclocking and at standard frequencies.
The list of participants also includes ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3070, the video card was tested at the recommended frequencies.
The full list of video cards is as follows:
- ASUS TUF Radeon RX 6800 XT;
- Radeon RX 6800 XT;
- Radeon RX 6800;
- Radeon RX 6700 XT;
- Radeon RX 5700 XT;
- ASUS TUF GeForce RTX 3080;
- GeForce RTX 3080;
- GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition;
- GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition;
- GeForce RTX 2070 Super;
- GeForce RTX 3060.
Characteristics of the tested video cards
|Video adapter||ASUS TUF RTX 3080||GeForce RTX 3080||GeForce RTX 3070||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE||GeForce RTX 2070 Super||GeForce RTX 3060||ASUS TUF RX 6800 XT||Radeon RX 6800 XT||Radeon RX 6800||Radeon RX 6700 XT||Radeon RX 5700 XT|
|Core||GA102||GA102||GA104||TU102||TU104||GA106||Navi 21||Navi 21||Navi 21||Navi 22||Navi 10|
|Number of transistors, million pieces||28000||28000||17000||18600||13600||13250||26800||26800||26800||17200||10300|
|Process technology, nm||8||8||8||12||12||8||7||7||7||7||7|
|Core area, sq. mm||627||627||450||754||545||276||520||520||520||335||251|
|Number of CUDA Stream Processors||8704||8704||5888||4352||2560||3584||4608||4608||3840||2560||2560|
|Number of RT cores||68||68||46||68||40||28||72||72||60||40||—|
|Number of texture blocks||272||272||184||272||160||112||288||288||240||160||160|
|Number of render units||96||96||96||88||64||48||128||128||96||40||64|
|Base core frequency, MHz||1440||1440||1500||1350||1605||1320||1825||1825||1700||2321||1605|
|Game Clock frequency, MHz||—||—||—||—||—||—||2065||2015||1815||2424||1755|
|Boost frequency, MHz||1785||1710||1725||1635||1770||1777||2310||2250||2105||2581||1905|
|Memory bus, bit||320||320||320||352||256||192||256||256||256||192||256|
|Memory frequency, MHz||19000||19000||14000||14000||14000||15000||16000||16000||16000||16000||14000|
|Memory size, GB||10||10||8||11||8||12||16||16||16||12||8|
|Supported version of DirectX||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 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 (12_1)|
|Interface||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0|
Further, the graphs show the full frequency range — from the base value to the peak Boost (above the declared Boost Clock).
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 21.3.2/21.3.1;
- NVIDIA GeForce 466.11/461.72 driver.
For testing, the built-in benchmark was used, which was repeated several times. Minimum performance was monitored using MSI Afterburner.
The tests were carried out with the standard Ultra graphics profile and with minor adjustments to the settings, which will be indicated below.
At 1920×1080, Ultra graphics require at least a GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. AMD’s older models show very powerful results. The Radeon RX 5700 XT is on the heels of the GeForce RTX 3070, and the Radeon RX 6700 XT is competing with the GeForce RTX 3080. The 1080p potential of the top-end graphics cards was partially limited by the Intel Core i9-9900K test processor. In the confrontation between the old GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580, the advantage is on the side of the latter.
Next, consider the results at a resolution of 2560×1440.
This resolution requires graphics cards starting with the Radeon RX 5700 XT and GeForce RTX 2070 Super. The difference between the Radeon RX 6700 XT and the GeForce RTX 3070 at high resolution is smaller. And the accelerated version of the GeForce RTX 3080 from ASUS is almost as good as the Radeon RX 6800, but seriously loses to the Radeon RX 6800 XT. The video memory load may exceed 6.5 GB.
As an additional visual material, below is a video comparison of older models.
Additional testing was carried out at settings as close as possible to Ultra. Medium anti-aliasing quality, volumetric cloud quality reduced by one step, motion blur effect disabled.
Such simple edits provide a speedup of 10-15%. This is enough to achieve more comfortable performance even on the GeForce RTX 3060.
Only older graphics cards have been tested in 4K. The standard Ultra graphics mode is enabled and our settings are reduced anti-aliasing, cloud quality and blur disabled.
With the initial settings of the ASUS TUF Radeon RX 6800 XT, it produces no more than 60 frames, with adjusted settings, the average fps is at the level of 70 frames. In heavy mode, the GeForce RTX 3080 improves its position — a senior representative of NVIDIA shows better results than the Radeon RX 6800. With adjusted settings, the GeForce RTX 3080 is able to provide an average performance of about 60 frames. At 4K, the game requires 8 GB of VRAM.
As an additional visual material, below is a video comparison of ASUS TUF Radeon RX 6800 XT and ASUS TUF GeForce RTX 3080 in 4K.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a beautifully demanding game that needs top-end graphics cards for Ultra graphics at high resolutions. At all resolutions and modes, AMD video cards have better results, which confidently outperform their direct competitors. For Full HD, solutions of the GeForce RTX 3060, GeForce RTX 2060 Super and Radeon RX 5700 levels are enough. A slight adjustment of the settings will allow you to achieve acceptable performance on powerful older generation video cards. 60 frames in 4K is provided only by accelerated versions of the Radeon RX 6800 XT, although after adjusting the settings, you can comfortably play on the GeForce RTX 3080.