Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark Utility


Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark Utility

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark Utility


If you're a fan of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, or simply want a new tool to measure your system's performance, you should definitely download the freshly-released Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark. Featuring content from the forthcoming, eponymous expansion that raises the MMORPG's max level to 60 and adds a ton of new content, the Heavensward Benchmark also introduces gamers to a new DirectX 11 renderer and new visual effects, which include NVIDIA's HBAO+.




If you're unfamiliar with HBAO+, the DirectX 11-powered technique adds contact shadows where two surfaces or objects meet, and where an object blocks light from reaching another nearby game element. Compared to other ambient occlusion techniques, HBAO+'s shadows are more accurate and more detailed, and have a comparatively low performance impact, making games appear more realistic without a huge hit to your precious framerate.

In the Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark, HBAO+ more accurately shades characters, NPCs, objects, terrain, foliage, and grass, as you can see in the interactive comparison below.



[Click to activate]


This comparison also highlights the addition of DirectX 11 tessellation and DirectX 11 Parallax Occlusion Mapping, which add extra detail to surfaces and objects. Tessellation, visible on the bottom right of the above comparison, adds real geometric detail to terrain and other surfaces, immensely improving their visual fidelity. Parallax Occlusion Mapping, in contrast, adds simulated detail, visible only from certain angles, making it suitable for backgrounds and distant detail that won't be viewed up close. Together, the two features add considerable depth and detail to Final Fantasy XIV's lands, game wide.

Our second comparison, below, shows the impact of tessellation, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, and HBAO+ across a wider area, adding geometric depth to the terrain below the characters' feet, improved detail in the background, and realistic ambient occlusion shadowing across the entire scene.



[Click to activate]


Tessellation is also applied to the surfaces of water, adding extra depth and detail, and increasing its realism in motion. Furthermore, water caustics have been implemented, which will be particularly visible when fishing on a sunny day.


[Click to activate; again, note the improved shadowing courtesy of HBAO+]


In addition to beautifying the game with new effects, the upgrade to DirectX 11 also improves performance thanks to DirectX 11's superior CPU multi-threading and reduced CPU overheads, and its superior GPU performance. In a test on this writer's system, Heavensward's benchmark performance score increased from 18,056 with DirectX 9 (average FPS: 158.965) to 21,689 using DirectX 11 and like-for-like settings (average FPS: 190.883), and only decreased slightly to 21,029 (average FPS: 174.873) when tessellation, HBAO+, and other enhancements were enabled and maxed out.



Final Fantasy XIV's switch to DirectX 11 is especially beneficial for SLI systems, which are no longer CPU limited in many scenes, increasing multi-GPU performance considerably.

Finally, here's a look at how HBAO+ and tessellation enhance the conclusion to the benchmark. In particular, note the improved accuracy and quality of shadowing around characters' multi-layered armor, and the bumpy terrain.


[Click to activate]

If you wish to check out Final Fantasy XIV's new graphical enhancements for yourself, which also include specular floor reflections and enhanced shading, download the Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark. If you like the look of the MMORPG dive into A Realm Reborn today with a free trial. If you're already an ardent fan, you can instead pre-order Heavensward ahead of its 23rd June release.


Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark Utility


My thoughts

As an avid benchmarker and and a general PC performance nut, it is great to see Final Fantasy Online get a visual update and create this benchmarking tool to show it off. As I write this I am downloading the Benchmarking Utility to see just how well my AMD setup will run in this obviously Nvidia Branded title. 

This comes not long after Nvidia's HBAO+ and other graphical uprgrades were added to Blizzards World of Warcraft, showing that Nvidia are very keen on showcasing their brand as an exceptionally MMO friendly company, which should work great for them as MMO fans typically are just as loyal to their chosen hardware brands and they are to their chosen MMO. 


You can join the discussion on Final Fantasy Online's New Benchmark Utility on the OC3D Forums, we would also love to hear how well the game performs on your setups.


A benchmark Utility for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward has been released, which includes all new detail and features to...

Posted by OC3D on Tuesday, 28 April 2015
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Most Recent Comments

28-04-2015, 20:25:41

Not a bad benchmark. Couldn't stay above 60fps the entire with everything at max settings. Ended up with a score of 10391.

i5-4670k @ 4.2Ghz (I should really work on this OC)
GTX 780 @ 1215MhzQuote

28-04-2015, 23:48:01

Very animated benchmark not really my thing.... I'm old as is my box X58 vintage but handled it well


29-04-2015, 03:19:08

Anyone have issues with this, i cant complete the benchmark, it crashes on the section with those owl looking things

Stage 4 i thinkQuote

29-04-2015, 03:31:36

No trouble at all here, very smooth, handles the benchmark at 105 fps maxed out at 1080p and 70 fps at 1440Quote

29-04-2015, 03:39:59

Originally Posted by MrKambo View Post
Anyone have issues with this, i cant complete the benchmark, it crashes on the section with those owl looking things

Stage 4 i think
Can't help all okay for me average FPS 104

do you have issues with other games?


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