The Wolfensteins of Vulkan in the spotlight

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2017 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Wolfenstein 2, vulkan, amd, nvidia

[H]ard|OCP took a close look at the new Wolfenstein game, covering the new graphics options which appear in the menus as well as the bugs that could be caused by then, not to mention the benchmarking.  For this Vulkan game they chose three AMD cards and four NVIDIA cards to test with a variety of thsoe options enabled as well as looking at the effect resolution has on your performance.  As we have seen in other recent games, AMD's Vega 64 is a strong contender at 4K resolutions, surpassing the GTX 1080 but not quite matching its 1080 Ti brother.  It is also worth noting this game loves VRAM, in fact 8GB is not enough for Uber settings.  Read through the full review for performance numbers as well as insight into the best graphics settings to chose.

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"Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is out; this new game uses the id Tech 6 game engine and Vulkan API to give you a great gaming experience on the PC with today’s latest GPUs. We will compare performance features, see what settings work best, find what is playable in the game and compare performance among several video cards."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

November 15, 2017 | 03:27 PM - Posted by CNote

I keep switching between 1440p/Mein Leben Setting @90fps and 4k/HiUltra @55ish fps. The 4k looks impressive but I can see when it drops past 40fps and freesync. Having it at 1440p and the highest detail is fantastic but looks kinda washed out compared to 4k.
First world problems.

That said this game is nuts, never thought id play a level in a damn wheel chair with a submachine gun. The whole thing with BJs Dad and dog was kinda rough.

November 16, 2017 | 12:11 PM - Posted by WayneJetSki (not verified)

What video card do you have?

November 16, 2017 | 06:52 PM - Posted by CNote

Ryzen 1600 with a Vega 64

November 15, 2017 | 04:31 PM - Posted by DemsSomeROPsOnDatTI (not verified)

The GTX 1080 Ti big brother to the 1080 has higher clocks and 88 ROPs compared to the RX Vega 64/56 SKUs' lower clocks and 64 ROPs. And look at the total pixel fill rate on the GTX 1080 Ti and the Ti is way ahead of its little brother the GTX 1080's(64 ROPs) and both the Vega 10 die based variants Vega 64/56(Both have 64 ROPs) for throwing the FPS out there. Nvidia beats AMD with ROP counts and higher clocks on games(Mostly DX 11) that do not take advantage of shaders like DX12/Vulkan can. But even for DX12/Vulkan it's the pixel fill rate coming out of 88 ROPs on the 1080 Ti that can still win the FPS race.

Let's wait a little longer before DX12/Vulkan optimized gaming engines can make a little better use of any GPUs excess shaders for gaming physics any maybe Vega's primitive shaders and FP 16 to see how that works out. But AMD should have baked in a higher ROP to shader core ratio in its Vega 10 base die design! But we all know that Vega 10 is really for compute/AI first and formost and AMD needs to respin a GP104 like Vega micro-arch base die design that has at least 88+ ROPs to play with because Nvidia is winning the ROP to Shader ratio game and ROPs are what fling the FPS out there via that pixel fill rate metric.

AMD's Vega GPUs sure have an abundence of TMUs and the Vega 56 almost has the same texture rate as the GTX 1080 Ti but that's only good for better texture quality and the not pixel fill rate that drives the FPS. So for non gaming graphics workloads Vega is a shader heavy and texture fill rate abundant design and shaders doing ray tracing acceleration on Vega makes for some nice non gaming/Non FPS dependennt graphics for animation and other graphics uses where quality in more important than FPS.

Nvidia's gaming focused GP104 variants are just that gaming and not much extra for compute on the shader counts but those ROP counts on the TI are what makes for the FPS metrics that gamers tend to focus on above all else, and who can fully blame gamers as who can notice image quality at 45-120 FPS in the first place as its FPS and Frame varience that the eye can notice more in gaming and not necessarily image quality as much for any objects in motion.

Image qualtity is more important on larger monitors and AA is important because of the brain's abliity to detect edges so the brain's processing is what makes AA more needed to avoid the jagged edges. Nvidia is good at developing software methods and compression technology to make up for any lower shader counts in gaming workloads and hell that's because Nvidia has a whole consumer gaming team to focus only on, for example, GP104 based gaming while AMD only had the funds for one base Vega 10 die design that had to make compromises for compute/AI and gaming.

AMD still did an OK Job on Vega considering the funding available and because of DX12/Vulkan and some other new IP(pirmative shaders and rapid paced math) Vega will continue to show more improvment as DX12/Vulkan games makers start makeing use of Vega's extra shaders and other IP. AMD needs a Gaming only GPU design team with compute/AI in the hands of a different team and maybe that will be incoming in a few years as Navi will probably be somewhat more about making things modular like the Zen/Zeppelin dies but Navi's micro-arch will still be mostly the same as Vega with a few tweaks added.

Really let's see how Vega 11 looks to see if AMD had the time to change up the ROP to shader ratio and get some frame rate improvments that way in addition to maybe some higher clocks on GF's new 12nm node tweak to its 14nm licensed from Samsung node. Vega 11 is probably going to replace the Polaris mainstream GPU micro-arch and Navi will be the next chance that AMD has for a newer falgship design with a better ROP to shader ratio for better gaming GPU scaling low range to flagship on some Navi modular GPU die unit.

November 15, 2017 | 04:41 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

The water cooled Vega 64 surpasses the 1080TI but people sites are not being up front that they are using aircooled vega 64.

November 15, 2017 | 10:36 PM - Posted by Power (not verified)

Main takeaway: 6GB is not enough for 1080 anymore.

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